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 1 – Mary’s calling and our calling

Isaiah 7:10-8:8; 1 Peter 3:1-22

The chapter of Isaiah 7 in my Bible is titled “The Sign of Immanuel” and in verse 14, it says, There the Lord himself will give you a sign, Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. This verse emphasizes the calling of Mary, a humble servant, to be the mother of baby Jesus. In Luke 1:38 we read Mary’s response: Here am I, the servant of the Lord. Let it be according to the word that fulfills the Isaiah promise of the baby Jesus.

In this Advent season, let’s consider the meaning of “calling,” not only as it relates to our vocation, but also how Christians may respond to many other callings from God. Luther and others came to recognize that we are also called to serve family, neighbors and country. We serve man and glorify God through these callings. God has called us to fatherhood and motherhood as Mary was called to be the mother of Christ and prepared with faith and love for the Christ child to be born.

We are also called to share the Gospel. As Christians, we are called to share the Good Word in thought, word and deed. 1 Peter 3:15 implores God’s people to be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it in with gentleness and respect. God calls us to serve others in sharing the love of Christ with love and grace. How are you listening to God’s calling?

In the season of Advent, we must prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus. We must share the Word became flesh who came into our sinful world to save us. Times are as difficult for Christians as much as for anyone right now, but God calls us to approach Advent with faith and hope through the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Let us follow Mary’s example of humble faith as we prepare to share a place in our hearts for Jesus. Through each calling we hear to serve family, neighbors and country, we remember that by serving other people, we are glorifying God.

DR. CAROL LUEDERS-BOLWERK is a faculty member in the School of Nursing on the Mequon campus. She has served at Concordia since 1987.

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.