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 8 – Abide in His praise and His promises

Isaiah 24:14-25:12, Obadiah 1-21, 1 John 2:15-29

From the ends of the earth we hear songs of praise, of glory to the Righteous One. Isaiah 24:16

I can remember the first time I attended church with my maternal grandmother, Ada Lee Joyner. Preparing for church, she packed a ham sandwich, fruit, and snacks. At first this confused me because I thought we would return home to enjoy the dinner my mom had prepared. Grandmother’s church services were very long, however, and it soon was apparent the lunch was for me. She did not want me or my stomach grumbling and interrupting her praise. My grandmother taught me the importance of praising God, and it is my firm belief that God inhabits our praises and our shouts for joy. As 1 John 2:24 says, Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.

As Christians, we simply abide in praise and abide in the Lord. This past July, my mother was hospitalized with COVID pneumonia. Each time my father and I prayed for my mom, in tears we would proclaim, “No matter what happens, we give you all the praise and all the honor, Lord.” We found tremendous comfort in knowing that the God we abided in through faith was and has always been faithful to us. God spared my mother and delivered her back to us according to His Will. I continue to abide in His praise and promises, just like Grandmother Joyner taught me.

This season of Advent, in which we remember Christ’s first coming and look forward in eager anticipation to His second coming, is reason enough to praise and celebrate. In these days of anticipation, I pray the peace of the Lord be in each of you. No matter the situation, believe His promises, stay in His presence, seek His face, and abide in Him. He will abide in you.

WALTER GOODWYN is the Director of the Emerging Scholars Program and the Office of Multicultural Engagement on the Mequon campus. He has served at Concordia since 2017.

View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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