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 9 – Children of the heavenly Father
Isaiah 26:1–19, 1 John 3:1–24
It has been more than two years since the worst day of my life, when I sat at my father’s bedside as he took his final earthly breath. The days that immediately followed were an exhausting, emotional blur. Yet what I remember about that time were the countless conversations I had with those who knew my father. They talked about his servant heart and his leadership abilities. They spoke of how he loved the Lord and loved his family. They called him a mentor and a friend.
He would be the first one to tell you that he was a sinner in need of God’s grace through Jesus. As imperfect as he was, however, I still consider it such an honor to be known as one of Ross Kittleman’s sons. I am so proud of that title, and I dearly miss hearing him answer the phone with a hearty “Hello, son!”
While some of you may be thinking fondly about your own parents as you read this, it is also evident that not everyone has had such a positive experience with earthly parents. Thankfully, our scripture reading from 1 John 3 points to a most amazing title that we all share: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1).
Let that sink in for a moment: we are children of God! The very creator of the universe—the very One whom the prophet Isaiah praises as an everlasting rock (Isaiah 26:4)—calls you His child! It is certainly not a title that we deserve. In fact, it is truly an act of love that we would ever be given this title. Unlike the imperfect love that even the best earthly parent can give, the love that our Heavenly Father has for us is perfect, strong, and unfailing!
There is no better demonstration of this love than when He sent His son Jesus to take on human flesh and to die for you and me. During this season of Advent, may we ponder what it truly means that God calls us his sons and daughters and let our lives reflect the celebration and the blessing of being His children!
JOSH KITTLEMAN is an Associate Professor of Family Life and has served at Concordia since 2017
View a full schedule of “The arrival of a Savior for all” readings here.
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