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 3 – Does God owe it to you or own it for you?
Isaiah 9:8-10:11 and 1 Peter 5:1-14
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:6-8)
In my early 20’s, I had a frustrating phase. People around me—Christians and non-Christians—were elevating in life with careers, families, social life, etc., while I felt stagnant. They appeared to have a perfect life. I believed I was doing “almost” everything the right way to gain success and happiness, but it seemed like my route was taking much longer if I was even on the right path at all. My endless comparisons to others got me frustrated with God. I remember talking to Him in prayer and accounting for all of the sacrifices and services I had made throughout my life. In my selfishness, I had the gall to feel God owed me blessings. How arrogant I was! Pride had overtaken humility in my heart and mind.
During this time in the calendar year, when so much of our culture stresses the ideals of a perfect holiday gathering, a perfect gift, or a perfect Christmas morning—as well as all of the sacrifices and service it can take an individual to make those happen—we may all fall into the same trap. Today’s text from I Peter makes it clear that the devil is eager to pounce and present the same lie he did in the Garden—that God somehow owes us. Yet we Christians need to remember that all is in His hands, His timing, and according to His plan. While we will find arrogance, pride, and ultimately emptiness and heartbreak when we place the focus on ourselves, today’s I Peter 5 text reiterates God’s invitation to live carefree in Him. Jesus, our swaddled Savior, owned every one of our sins on Calvary’s cross and triumphed over death and the grave. He truly does have the whole world in His hands, and you and I are included in His loving embrace.
DR. LISA ADAMS-QUALLS is a faculty member is the School of Health Professions and has served as Concordia University since 2018.
View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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.