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 13 – Because of darkness
Isaiah 29:15–30:14, Revelation 1:1–20
I have always loved Christmas. Originally, that was rooted in the excitement of gifts (perhaps, it slightly still is), but even more so, my joy in this season is rooted in the hope of Christ. Yet today’s reading from Isaiah 29-30 is a strong contrast and reminder of darkness and sin. Israel, God’s chosen people, despite continuously experiencing God’s power and faithfulness, always sought to go their own way. Isaiah 29:15 indicated they seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and 30:1 says they take counsel, but not of Me. The Israelites even longed to have the prophets not share truth with them (Isaiah 30:10). Often in this life, it is tempting to want to skip this reality and rush to the ending. Yet this darkness paves the way for us to become heirs of the promise.
Amidst this difficult reminder, we get a glimpse of hope in Isaiah 29:17- 24, as Gentiles become recipients of salvation through faith. We are reminded in Isaiah 29:18 that the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness. We also read in Revelation 1:3, Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things written in it… Because of the sin of Israel, we are able to hear the truth spoken in Revelation and to allow the powerful descriptions of Christ, our “Alpha and the Omega,” the “First and the Last,” to transform our daily lives. It is tempting to long to skip the darkness, but it is through such darkness that the Holy Spirit leads us to our Hope.
These passages challenge me to trust God in the waiting and in the darkness, as many seasons of my life have challenged me in this: watching my mom lose her battle with cancer, waiting longer than I hoped for to become a wife and a mom, and my list could continue. When I reflect on those seasons, I see God’s hand was near and His plan was at work. I pray the truth of these passages leads us to celebrate a Savior who redeems and restores and uses the darkness to shine His great Light.
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