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.

November 29-Embrace Advent

Isaiah 5:1-25; 1 Peter 2:1-12

This weekend is always an interesting moment of transition. It is the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is officially in the rearview mirror, and Christmas is out in the distance. If you traveled, you may be returning back home. College students may have decided to stay home and conclude the semester virtually. On Concordia’s campus, students, faculty, and staff look ahead to the final push of this fall semester.

Yet today is more than what I have described above. Today is the first day in Advent. It’s the first day of the new church year. Happy New Year!

While it is tempting, perhaps especially this year, to rush to Christmas, I want to encourage each of us to embrace Advent rather than skipping it. Advent is to be one of the more penitential times of the year for believers in Christ, as we reflect on the promises of God and also the hope that is ours in Jesus. Isaiah the prophet noted the Lord’s description of Israel’s unfaithfulness. Even a quick glance through the Old Testament will affirm this sad reality. That same quick glance will also affirm God’s faithfulness to Israel, His chosen nation.

The Advent season gives us space to acknowledge our unfaithfulness, failings, and shortcomings. It is for that reason that we long for the arrival of a Savior in our lives.

Because of our Savior, Peter wrote: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

As we begin this journey of Unmasking Advent and look forward to the return of the Savior Jesus Christ, I invite you to pray the verse of this Advent hymn:

Prepare my heart, Lord Jesus; Turn not from me aside, And help me to receive You 

This blessed Advent-tide. From stall and manger low 

Come now to dwell within me; I’ll sing your praises gladly 

And forth Your glory shown. (LSB 354, v. 4)

Embrace Advent. Reflect often. Anticipate hope.

REV. DR. RYAN PETERSON is the Vice President of Administration at Concordia University Ann Arbor and has served at Concordia since 2013.


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.

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