Editor's note: "An uncommon Advent: the arrival of a Savior in our lives" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Wisconsin community. It is our prayer that you will take time during the Advent season to read and reflect upon God's Word and await the coming of Jesus with newfound anticipation and zeal through the Holy Spirit.
December 6 – Are we there yet?
Isaiah 14:1-23 and 2 Peter 3:1-1
My extended family hail from Nebraska, so growing up in Wisconsin, I endured many trips along Interstate 80 to return to our homeland. Whether the long drive occurred during Advent, Lent, or the dog days of summer, the trip always was punctuated by my endless mantra, “Are we there yet?”
Impatient children waiting out the days before Christmas gifts may utter the same sentiment. It can also be heard among early Christians to whom the author of II Peter wrote today’s text. As they recounted stories of Jesus’ life and ministry, as well as His death, resurrection, and ascension, they reminded one another that the history of His story was not complete. Still, pangs of anticipation were palpable, as they lived in fear of their oppressors amid chaotic and violent times. They wondered whether Christ would return as He said and despaired at the seemingly endless wait. In the Nebraskan travels of my youth, there were times when my older brother was my seemingly endless oppressor in the back of our station wagon, but I can draw a more suitable parallel from my life today.
How often do we feel overwhelmed and hopeless in the days of this life,coaxed to complacency or despair by Satan and sin? The author of II Peter implores you and me to hold fast to the truth that Jesus will return but acknowledges God’s timing is not like ours. In this Advent season, we need to anticipate and celebrate not only Jesus’ first coming to a Bethlehem stable but also His second coming. Like an impatient child waiting to open a Christmas gift or arrive at a remote destination,one day is as a thousand years. Yet, our heavenly Father is not slow to fulfill his promise(II Peter 3:8,9), but instead, perfect in His love and timing.
So, how should we live during this interim between Jesus’ first and second coming? We are called to be people of hope, even amid the challenges and changes of this world. As we consider “Are we there yet?” may we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, remain bold in our proclamation that the Lord will come again and celebrate the real gifts of God that we can open and use each day in Word, Sacrament, and the fellowship of Christian believers.
Dr. Michael Uden joined the faculty of Concordia in 1998 and serves as the Vice Provost of Student Enrollment and Engagement. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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