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 12 – Straight up truth

Isaiah 29:1-14 and Jude 1-25

As a boy, I vividly remember my mom’s rhubarb bread. I do not like rhubarb. Unfortunately, my mom did not believe in a child’s free choice in eating, so I would sneak into the kitchen, grab some chocolate chips, and slide them into the slices of bread I was given. This clever deception worked well for pumpkin torte and zucchini muffins, too. Pretty soon, chocolate chip integration dominated all of my meals. My taste buds savored the sweet flavor, making any vegetable bread bearable. My perfect plan was thwarted when I realized I had used up the chips, and mom had not yet replaced the bag. Growing older, I recognized another problem. Eating chocolate chips every day had a devastating effect on my weight and health.

In today’s Scripture reading, Jude is warning the church that something very dangerous to their spiritual health is permeating into God’s truth. Errors! There are people teaching false doctrines who have infiltrated the Christian community. Unnoticed, these false teachers slip their own thoughts into the true words of God to make them “bearable.” These false teachers are described as godless, denying Jesus Christ, living immoral lives, and slandering heavenly beings. Jude raised the believer’s awareness by describing how terrible these dissenters actually were and calling for Christians to persevere—Fight for the truth!

This same encouragement is intended for us today to stand firm in the faith and fight for the truth. We do this by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life (Jude 20-21).

As easily as a chocolate chip can be inserted into rhubarb cake, a false promise or revision to God’s truth can be added. We pray for wisdom and perseverance to remain true to God’s unwavering words. And we look forward to celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ being born. He provides us perfect health in eternity – be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (Jude 27).

DR. STEVE GERNER is the Dean of Students on the Mequon campus. He has served at Concordia since 2008.

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

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