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 11 – The one true gift

Isaiah 28:14-29, 1 John 5:1-21, 2 John 1-13, 3 John 1-15

We live in a world that can present too many options, whether it’s a streaming channel, shopping venue, or—even more difficult—what to think and believe. 2020 has definitely been a year that has assaulted us with so much overwhelming news, and it can be difficult to discern truth. This can leave us bewildered and misguided, and, worse yet, devoid of compassion and love.

Thankfully, Scripture gives us reminders of the relationship between Truth and Love, and the Advent season is the perfect time to reflect on that Truth. It comes in the form of God’s perfect gift to humanity: His only Son, who is true God and eternal life, as shared in 1 John 5:20. By knowing Truth, our lives have greater purpose. With our eyes fixed on this eternal promise, we are overcomers, because everyone born of God overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). In a year of a pandemic, social unrest, economic strife and political discord, those words feel like a balm to my weary soul. Despite all the choices that can lay before us, there is one true path, and that is through Jesus, the must-have Christmas gift for 2020.

As I reflected on today’s readings, I further considered the relationship between Truth and Love, two words personified by Christ. One calls us into understanding, and one implores us into action. 2 John reminds us that we are to love one another, and that his command is that you walk in love (verse 6). Given some of the hate and vitriol I observed this year in the news and social media, it’s apparent how difficult it is to walk in love if the capital T truth isn’t embraced. Because God has revealed this truth to us through His Word, we are able to imitate what is good (1 John 11). Truth enables us to love, and love enables us to be Christ to others.

This Advent season, let’s anticipate Jesus’ birth as a reminder of God’s great promise: eternal life in Him, the truest gift. May we celebrate the season by walking in love with others!

LORI WOODALL-SCHAUFLER is director of theatre and is a faculty member in the School of Arts and Sciences. She has served at Concordia since 2006.

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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