Editor's note: "Unmasking 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 15 – A swaddled storm
Isaiah 30:27-31:9 and Revelation 3:1-22
The advent season is filled with family, delicious food, and heartwarming beverages. It’s a time to cuddle up on the couch to watch classic films like It’s a Wonderful Life and even The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. My years of military service are behind me now, but during my enlistment in the Marine Corps, I am thankful to have never missed a family Christmas. And this year will be no different. My wife and I will travel home for our second Christmas together. And this is why I heartily agree with Isaiah. You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel (Isaiah 30:29). This picture is the dream as the fall semester comes to an end.
Although we may be content to stop with verse 29, note the contrast as Isaiah continues. And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones (Isaiah 30:30). We often don’t contemplate a God of thunder and wrath as found in this passage. Yet perhaps this year particularly, we should be considerate of families who have experienced the harsh sting of pain and loss and compassionate to others who only see a wrathful God and miss the gift of His grace entirely.
Amid a world of suffering and death, we find the grand mystery of a mighty God born in a tiny Bethlehem. Is the furious Lord nestled in a smelly shelter? A thunder and hailstorm bound to swaddling clothes? As we continue on this advent journey, I ask you to ponder the “verse 30” God who became the defenseless infant. The One who entered broken humanity, not wielding a devouring flame, but instead, rendering Himself fully vulnerable to suffering and pain. The gift of baby Jesus, who would ultimately take into Himself the descending blow of God’s arm, comes for you.
NOAH KAMPA, USMC Veteran, is pursuing a degree in Christian Thought and a theological languages minor at Concordia University Wisconsin.
Unmasking Advent is also available for purchase in hard-copy form. Each booklet costs $5. All net proceeds will support Concordia’s “Living Water” campaign through Water to Thrive, an effort to create a sustainable clean water source for a community in Africa. Click here to purchase a booklet. If you wish to make a direct, tax-deductible gift to the Living Water campaign, click here.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.