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 24 – Come, Lord Jesus!
Isaiah 44:21–45:13, 20–25, Daniel 10:1–12:13, Isaiah 48:1–22, and Revelation 12:1–17
What a struggle this past year has been! COVID endures, shaping and warping the whole world. We continue to experience its impact on our families, our communities, our nation, and our world. We see economic disruption and political discord all around us. And unresolved and long-standing issues about race, gender, and class, among others, continue to divide us.
We are at the end of the season of Advent, which is often described as a season for waiting and anticipation. Our readings for today remind us that this anticipation quite often occurs in the context of turmoil, disruption, and sin. Both Daniel and Isaiah told their Old Testament hearers of the destruction to be heaped upon Israel’s two kingdoms. Those prophets identified that death, slavery, and destruction would occur because of Israel’s unfaithfulness. Isaiah describes this as the refining of Israel. In addition, the New Testament book of Revelation reminds us that we too live in an age where Satan does his best to take us down with him. These passages are full of struggle, angst, and despair.
As always, however, God’s Word does not leave us in that despair. There is more to our history and His Story. Isaiah and Daniel both provided God’s people with hope for the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah described how God would redeem His Israel, It shall be inhabited…shall be rebuilt…I will restore them (Isaiah 44:22-26). As we finish our preparations to once again hear good news of the Christmas story, we can joyfully celebrate the first coming of the Messiah to save all people; and we know the outcome of Jesus’ work on earth. His death, resurrection, and ascension provide the antidote for all the evil this world provides.
Moreover, the passages remind us that even our Christmas cheer is just a foretaste for the complete joy that awaits us at Jesus’ second coming. Our Christmas cheer turns into Easter and Ascension victory celebrations! Recognizing that our present troubles are only temporary, we can look forward to the final victory over sin, death and Satan when Jesus returns.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
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