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 2 – Light breaking through the darkness

Isaiah 8:9-9:7 and 1 Peter 4:1-19

There is something about a sunrise that has always brought peace to my soul. With a cup of coffee and some quiet time to reflect on life, a new day has always brought me hope. I find myself looking for hope a lot more these days. Perhaps you have experienced that, too. It is hard to turn on the news and see all the chaos in the world. Darkness seems to be all around. Where is our hope?

The people to whom Isaiah was writing were also searching for hope and about to experience great darkness. The nations of Israel and Judah would be destroyed, and the people would be held captive. Isaiah 9:2 says, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Darkness and light are important contrasts for Isaiah’s audience, then and now. The nations of Israel and Judah would first experience great darkness before the light would shine. This light points us to the Christ Child in a manger. The manger was placed under a star shining bright. This great light guided the shepherds to Jesus, and He is the Light of the World who provides hope for us still today.

For many people, this year has brought much suffering. The days have certainly been dark in so many ways. Yet we must not forget that Christ also suffered on a cross for us. Again the Savior is our hope amidst darkness. Peter reminds us that when we suffer, we share Christ’s sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). Through his suffering, His light shines on us. Whatever the upcoming Christmas season may bring to you and your family, remember the hope we have in the perfect Child, born in a manger—a Child who was born to die for you and for me. This is our hope that shines through the darkness.

JOE BENDER is a senior majoring in Pre-Seminary Studies at Concordia University Wisconsin.

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

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