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 8 – In what world are you living?
Isaiah 24:14–25:12, Obadiah 1–21, 1 John 2:15–29
Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external. – Martin Luther King Jr.
I am an unapologetic sci-fi/fantasy enthusiast (read: nerd). The first book I can remember that utterly captured me was C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Narnia was a world full of magical creatures (Mr. Tumnus!), talking animals, sparkling oceans, and a powerful lion. Narnia made warriors and queens out of little girls, and I desperatelywanted to go. Sure, I loved my family and friends, but that did not stop me from constantly checking the back of my closet to see if a doorway opened up that would transport me to the Great Woods to join the Pevensies on their latest adventure. Because I loved the idea of Narnia so much, I constantly had one foot “out the door.”
As Christians, we may experience this same phenomenon: living between two “worlds.” Our physical bodies are here, in our physical world, where it is easy to get lost in that fabulous new series on Netflix, the hottest new game on our phone, our upcoming vacation plans to the sunny beach, the delicious cinnamon coffee cake hot out of the oven. It is tempting to focus on the external world, the one that is literally right before our eyes, and forget about the internal and the light and truth that comes only when we are quiet and listening.
Today’s Scriptures and the whole Advent season remind us of our spiritual world, a place like Narnia, but even better because it actually exists. And we do not have to search in vain for a hidden portal because our faith has the power to carry us there when we simply close our eyes and bow our heads. 1 John writes, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
In this Advent season, may our focus remain on the internal.
DR. STEPHANIE GUEDET is an Associate Professor of English and has served at Concordia since 2018
View a full schedule of “The arrival of a Savior for all” readings here.
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