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 16 – Sporting uncommon anticipation

Isaiah 32:1-20 and Revelation 4:1-11

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

The dictionary definition of Advent is “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.” It’s all about anticipation. As the Director of Faith Integration for Athletics at Concordia, I get to see first-hand the feeling of anticipation in our student athletes and coaches. It’s one of my favorite things about sports. Athletes anticipate the beginning of new seasons after putting in hours and hours of hard work and training in the off season. Coaches anticipate the positive results of off season recruiting and new strategies and game plans. And there is nothing like the feeling of anticipation that leads up to the start of a big game. You can just feel the excitement and tension in the air as game time approaches. All of the training and hard work and preparation comes down to this big moment in time…game time!

Being an athlete or a coach anticipating a new season or a big game is a lot like a young child anticipating Christmas. The nervous excitement can be overwhelming. Our world has turned the focus of this time of year toward lighting displays on houses, decorated “Holiday” trees, shopping, and gifts…lots and lots of gifts. There’s nothing wrong with those kinds of things as they can be a lot of fun. Yet as Christians we know that the Advent anticipation is about so much more. We anticipate the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ child. We also anticipate the second coming of Christ, the one “who is and who was and who is to come” (Revelation 1:8).

In the world of sports, athletes and coaches anticipate hard work and preparation paying off in the form of big victories in competition; success in sports is a direct result of hard work and training. In contrast, as we anticipate the coming of Christ during this season of Advent, let’s remember that the ultimate victory isn’t a result of our hard work or anything we have done. It’s all about what Jesus Christ has done. He came to earth as a humble baby, lived a perfect life, took on all that we deserve as he suffered and died on the cross, and then rose again, winning the ultimate victory over death and the devil. All of the hard work has been done for us. That is truly something worthy of our anticipation and celebration!

-Dr. Jim Juergensen is the Director of Faith Integration for Athletics and the Director of Placement in the School of Education. He has served at Concordia University Wisconsin since 2011. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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