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 9 – The uncommon Advent virtue of patience

Isaiah 26:1-19 and 1 John 3:1-24

Patience is a virtue that is becoming more and more uncommon. With technology at our fingertips, we can order our groceries with the press of a button. We can summon a ride using a handy app. We can FaceTime with family and friends across the world. Social media offers us newsfeeds instantly. With just the click of a button, we can see and hear what is happening around the world as well as within our local communities. While technology has certainly made our lives easier, it has also weakened our patience and our ability to process the truth, especially in our news cycles.

Advent then is the perfect time to turn off the phone, tablet, or whatever contraption you use and refocus. During Advent, we must practice patience and wait for Jesus. We cannot click a button or use an app to make Christmas arrive instantly. We wait through prayer, reflection, and quiet conversations with God. We lean into God, trust His voice, and follow Him for He will bestow upon us the perfect gift. We do not need our apps or social media feeds to discover truth in the Lord. Truth is present in our hearts and minds through faith. We simply must be patient and wait for Him.

This Advent season, I am challenging my students to move away from technology and social media and practice the uncommon virtue of patience. My intention for them is to find moments in quiet prayer and reflection so that they may not only prepare for the birth of our Savior, but also continue to grow in a healthy mind, body, and spirit. On campus, Advent falls at the end of the fall semester and during final exams. This is a time when most of our students are stressed and nervous about their grades, meeting deadlines, and safely traveling home for the holidays. My hope is that they will use prayer and reflection without the distraction of technology to guide them in last few weeks of the semester to grow, not only academically but also spiritually. Thank you also for your continued prayers for our students as they continue to lead uncommon live.

Dr. Erin Laverick serves as the campus dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University Ann Arbor and has been with the university since 2017. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

If you would like to order hard copies of An Uncommon Advent, please visit https://emsweb.cuw.edu/EmsRegics/An Uncommon Advent. If you wish to make a direct, tax-deductible contribution to the Living Water campaign, please visit https://www.watertothrive.org/campaigns/living-water-campaign/.

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