Editor's note: "A pandemic advent: the arrival of a Savior for all" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Ann Arbor 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 – The scene of a snow globe
Isaiah 7:10–8:8, 1 Peter 3:1–22
Growing up, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was the unpacking of a snow globe that has been passed down in my family for several generations. Just the squeaking of the Styrofoam packing material as my father unwrapped it brought me running from the other room. I watched eagerly as he loosened the yellowish cellphone tape and opened it carefully. I couldn’t wait for my turn to shake it up and watch the scene of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem become a winter wonderland. Snow fell softly onto the manger with tiny animals standing watch.
Even the three wise men, solemnly approaching on a hill, became covered in a white powdery dusting. I loved pretending I was there inside, twirling slowly as the flakes turned my hair glittery and wet. Looking back now at my longing to be a part of this scene, I realize how much Jesus’s birth played a transformational role in my heart.
These days, I find myself again feeling as if I am inside a snow globe, being shaken to-and-fro by an unseen hand. Life can be uncertain, unpredictable, unsettling and even knock us to our knees without any warning. Many people I know are experiencing a loss of control and suffering from incredible heartache and sorrow. Their worlds have been turned upside down as if they were in a snow globe. Is it surprising they ask God why He has brought this suffering upon them?
1 Peter 3:17-22 offers examples of those who have also endured immeasurable pain, beginning with God’s own son, Jesus Christ. Through Him, we are shown that despite His unjust suffering, He was vindicated through resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God. His Father’s hand, placed firmly upon him, guided Jesus through the anguish. Is it, then, too much to ask that we trust God, knowing He will vindicate us as well, especially when our suffering is at its most overwhelming? Life can certainly make us feel like we are tumbling and turning in our own snow globe, not able to see or predict the next shower of pain and sadness. This Advent—and in every day—through the trust in God’s love and the plan He has for us, we can once again find solid ground.
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