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 – Waiting in line for the happiest place

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

I grew up in southern California, less than an hour from Disneyland. I remember when we would go to the park, we would get there before Disneyland opened. We would stand in line, waiting in anticipation for the gates to the “happiest place on earth” to open. We waited in line with hundreds of people pushing and shoving, trying to get closer to those gates that blocked us from a day of joy and laughter. The whole time, if you listened closely, and ignored the distraction of the crowds, you could hear the calming sounds of Disney in the background. Then the clock would chime, the gates would open, and we would march in, being pressed against on all sides. Once we were at the gate, we would present a ticket that we could barely afford and then be allowed to enter in. The day would be spent standing in more lines, riding rides, watching shows, and just having a good time. At night, the fireworks would go off, and then we would pile back in the car and go home. And, even though we had a great time, the day was over.

Our daily lives are just like that early morning, waiting for Disneyland to open. Each day we get up and go stand in lines. Even at Concordia, we stand in lines that are made of meetings and phone calls. Some lines are made of crying children and responsibilities. All of the lines distract us from the anticipation of what will happen once those final gates are open to us. We need to find a way to block out the noises of the crowd. We need to find a way to focus on the calming sounds of heaven that constantly surround us.

At some point, our personal clock will chime one last time. The pearly gates will open. The heavenly sounds will drown out all other sounds. When asked to present our ticket, which we could never afford, our Savior will present His nail pierced hands and welcome us the true Happiest Place, the place with more joy than imaginable. His place will have more songs of praise than could be counted, and it will be this place that we will call home forever.

May your lives be truly uncommon as we wait for Him to “Open the gates, that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in” (Isaiah 26:2).

-Carl Butz serves as the Registrar and has been at Concordia University Wisconsin since 2016. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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