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 and Ann Arbor 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 20 – An Advent allegory

Isaiah 40:18-41:10 and Revelation 8:1-13

January is my favorite time to hike. A few years ago, my husband, Jeff, and I went hiking in a state park along Lake Michigan. Our route took us along a bluff overlooking the lake’s frozen blue shores. Standing on the bluff’s edge behind the cold stone guard rail, my husband and I beheld the view. There was no sound other than the crunching snow beneath our boots and the crisp winter air entering our lungs in frosted breaths. We studied snow-dusted trees and rock formations of the bluff and a shoreline encrusted in ice and snow. A few waves broke through the ice to meet the shores, creating an occasional spray of water. As far as the eye could see, there were gossamer blue sheets of ice covering the water of Lake Michigan that fluidly moved in the warmer months.

Studying the scenery, I stood in awe of the Creator who crafted it by hand, the God who shaped the universe with His words. Observing the landscape made me rejoice that, as Isaiah 40:18-41:10 reminds us, we serve a God who promises to strengthen and protect us. As we continue this Advent season, Isaiah 40:18-41:10 and Revelations 8:1-13 invite us to consider the mighty power and glory of the God who created us and to rejoice in the love and strength He gives us. God promises us, I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you (Isaiah 41:9).

While I observed the frozen scenery that afternoon in January, I was reminded that God sent His Son as a baby to enter the world cold and hardened by sin and take our place on the cross. Through Jesus, He fulfilled the promises set forth in Isaiah. Even though the beauty of winter leaves us breathless, we eagerly wait and long for warmer days. Similarly, we wait and long for Christ’s return. As the days of Advent unfold, and we approach Christmas, ponder the power and glory of our gracious God we serve as well as our loving Jesus who saves.

MADELYN KEMPEN is an instructional design consultant in the Office of Continuing and Distance Education. She has served at Concordia since 2019.

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

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