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 10 – The uncommon conqueror for life’s chaos
Isaiah 26:20–27:13, 1 John 4:1–21
For today’s passages, I want to direct your attention to an image in Isaiah 27, Leviathan, and a word in 1 John 4, love, which appears 27 times in the chapter.
Leviathan is a seven-headed sea monster. In the Ancient Near East, Leviathan was a symbol of chaos in the world. Well, we are living in chaotic times, as chaotic as any have ever known or remembered. Yes, part of the chaos is the uncertainty of the pandemic. However, we are dealing with more than just a pandemic. There is turmoil over other matters in our country and our world, like the political rancor both between and within the political parties. There are protests on every social and economic issue one can think of in the US, as well as Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, and Australia. And let us not too easily forget the upheaval in Afghanistan. Yes, these are chaotic times, but this season of Advent reminds us of the hope we have because Jesus, our King, came down to us.
He did not come as a conqueror with a sword that was expected (see Isaiah 27:1), but He did come to defeat the Leviathans, the chaos and death in this world. Jesus took our chaos upon Himself to bring us His Peace. And why did He come? The answer is in 1 John 4.
Dear God, when I read 1 John 4, I am reminded of how You showed us that You are love. You came for Your glory; You came out of love. Love is Your essence. You define it. We cannot redefine love. You are the author of love, and because of You we can know what it means to truly love each other sacrificially. Jesus, the Son of God, is our model of sacrificial love in our thoughts and words and actions towards our spouses, our family members, and others outside our family.
1 John 4:4 – You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Because You came to us, Jesus, and have sent Your Spirit to dwell in us, we have victory over the chaotic monsters (or the Leviathans) in our lives.
DR. CHRISTOPHER STARK is an Associate Professor of Psychology and has served at Concordia since 2014
View a full schedule of “The arrival of a Savior for all” readings here.
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