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 12 – Treasures in heaven
Isaiah 29:1–14, Jude 1–25
Growing up during the Advent season was a wonderful time: decorating our Christmas tree with our favorite ornaments and spending time with my Mom and Dad. Vivid memories of leafing through the Christmas catalog for the latest action figures or fire trucks was eventually replaced with more practical things as I got older. As an only child, my parents took care of me and instilled the reason for Advent and the birth of our Lord and Savior. While the Christmas presents were certainly nice and often useful, scripture reminds us to store treasures in heaven and as Matthew asserts, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
In today’s readings, Jude points out But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 17-21)
We are assured of eternal rewards based on faith and grace of our loving Lord, but we must also be on alert for false teachings, as both Isaiah and Jude remind us. False teachings influencing our spiritual fate can permeate our lives in every facet with the many media outlets available to us and have the potential for eternal consequences. We must persevere and stand grounded in our faith to defend the doctrines in efforts to help others and proclaim the gospel message.
Fast forward through many wonderful Christmases to the recent past, where my family took care of my parents due to my Mom’s increasing health condition with dementia. The Christmas season was her favorite, and she often called me her treasure. The Advent season is the one constant in an ever-changing world; and while my parents are with our heavenly Savior and I miss them greatly, I look forward to a great reunion and enjoying the treasure our Lord has promised us!
DR. SCOTT VAN ORNUM is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and has served at Concordia since 2010
View a full schedule of “The arrival of a Savior for all” readings here.
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