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 14 – Uncommon advent rest
Isaiah 30:15-26 and Revelation 2:1-29
“Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies,” 2 Samuel 7:1
Throughout the frenetic pre-final exam crush, Saturday mornings on Concordia’s campus offer uncommon calm. Sleepy students wander quiet halls, and the warm scent of coffee and pancakes wraps campus like a long winter’s nap. We rest, breathe a bit, and are settled.
Prayerfully, there will be moments of exhale at some point for you this December. Moments when you are graced to recline into this season of waiting, pondering, and reflection; when the tyranny of time, the holiday todo list, and the incessant ping of incoming emails and social media updates recede and you are settled. In the common hurry of our living, moments of uncommon rest are truly a provision from the LORD.
And yet, give the remainder of 2 Samuel, Chapter 7 a read, and you learn that King David, blessed to breathe in the in-between space of war and conflict, blessed to meditate on the Law of the Lord in the comfort of his well-appointed palace, uses even his quiet spaces to glorify God in uncommon ways.
“What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?” Psalm 116 illustrates David’s grateful mindset in 2 Samuel. As he unwinds, David cannot help but turn his resting thoughts to his Heavenly Provider; and, in 2 Samuel, he is led to imagine the construction of God’s holy temple!
God’s Word offers us opportunity for uncommon moments of rest during these December weeks. Yet, even as we quiet our hearts and turn by the Spirit to meditate on the manger, God continues His good work in us. He grants rest, which enriches the body, relieves the mind, but most significantly, His design is to restore and make right our spirits. Uncommon rest, given by God, is at the same time uncommon work exerted by God.
Likely, you don’t have the treasure to imagine or construct a temple for the Lord during your downtime. He’s content with far more modest mangers. Our King wants our hearts, and He broke the silence of heaven to reach down to us and claim every one.
As you find moments to unwind this season, may you, like David, be gifted with a spirit that longs to serve our God and King. God grant it, at Christmas and ever.
-Gretchen Jameson serves as the Senior Vice President for Strategy and University Affairs and has been at Concordia University since 2014. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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