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 3 – The advent of God’s anger

Isaiah 9:8-10:11 and 1 Peter 5:1-14

When I was a child, I was fascinated by fire. One day, an idea ignited in my mind to start a napkin on fire. Brighter than the flames is the memory of my mom’s anger. Throwing the burning napkin in the sink, she sent me to my room. “How dare she yell at me that way,” I thought. Apparently, it was okay for me to get angry at my parents, but it was never okay for them to be angry with me.

Is that how we view our relationship with God? We find it easy to get angry with God about things in our lives. Concordia’s finals are approaching, and our grades aren’t what we want. Deadlines are approaching, but you haven’t had enough rest in months. Family gatherings haven’t been the same since your grandmother passed away. It is so easy to get angry with God for things; but when God gets angry, we get defensive.

There is so much we can learn from the anger God had towards the people of Israel. In Isaiah 9:9, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria spoke with pride and with arrogance of the heart, as we all do when God is out of the picture. The difference between our anger and God’s is his anger is righteous, sovereign, and purposeful. Often our anger is based in pride and without understanding for what God is doing in our lives. In Isaiah 9, people were arrogant, self-seeking, and taking advantage of others. In Isaiah 9:17 reads, “In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away, and His hand is still stretched out.” This same phrase is repeated in Isaiah 9:21 and Isaiah 10:4. Even though God’s anger is just, He still reaches His hands out to us. While we are such sinful beings, undeserving of God’s grace, He still sent His Son to die for us.

I remember sitting in my room crying after lighting the napkin on fire. Although my mom was still upset, she came into my room, took my hands into hers, and told me that she loved me. God does the same thing with us. Even in Advent as we feel our frustrations begin, let us not allow arrogance to cloud our minds, but remember that God sent His Son to die for us. He is reaching His hands out for you and me right now.

Abbi ImlahAbbi Imlah is a senior studying Lutheran elementary education and also serves as the President of Campus Ministry. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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