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 4 – Light of the world

Isaiah 10:12-27a, 33-34 and 2 Peter 1:1-21

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)

Today’s scripture reading from Isaiah 10 reflects a dark period in Israel’s history when an arrogant Assyria held the Jewish people in captivity. Have you ever felt like the Israelites being persecuted by the Assyrians? Do you see darkness in the current division and civil unrest that afflicts our nation? Do you feel that this current darkness is trying to consume the Light? Have you ever felt alone in the darkness?

During my deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, I saw deep darkness in the world and felt very alone. In those times, I turned to the Word of our Lord to find comfort and healing. I felt blessed and assured that our Lord and Savior would always lighten my path and guide my way. As the prophet Isaiah states, the Light of Israel is the only true light of the world. Like the wise kings who followed the star to Bethlehem, by following Jesus Christ, our paths are lighted, and we are led to understand God’s divine plan for each of us. Jesus himself stated, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 (ESV).

As we celebrate this Advent season, I encourage each of us to remember the blessing of being part of the Christ-filled community at Concordia, where we follow the Light of the world and have the Light of life. The Holy Spirit calls and equips us to develop in mind, body, and spirit and as Peter reminds us, to make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control and self-control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love (2 Peter 1:5-7). In today’s world, perhaps more than ever, these are Christmas gifts most needed within every community in our country.

COLONEL KEITH CASEY, USA (Retired) is the Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Veteran Engagement and has served at Concordia University since 2019.

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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