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.

November 29 – The fallow and fertile fields of life

Isaiah 5:1–25, 1 Peter 2:1–12

I remember coming to a crossroad in my life years ago when a relationship ended and I felt the deep need to make major changes. My nursing position at that time was stressful and unfulfilling. I seriously contemplated moving to another geographical area for a fresh start. Accordingly, I applied for a job and prayed it was the answer for a new chapter to move forward. Mentally I was preparing for the transition and envisioning my future like the friend was doing as he imagined the harvest from his lush vineyard in Isaiah 5:1-7.

Like the disappointment the friend experienced when wild grapes grew instead of a rich harvest, I was not offered the position I had selected. My path suddenly felt dark and uncertain. As time passed, I realized I needed to trust as promised in 1 Peter 1:4-5, …as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house… I needed to return to my spiritual house as my faith had slipped. Then and there, I trusted God would be the light that would ease the darkness and heal my soul. Over time, He graciously and generously illuminated my path with new gifts and service opportunities. I went back to school to become a nurse practitioner and eventually an educator. I have never looked back.

Advent is an invitation to be still before God, reflect, prepare, and be open to his will. We are challenged to be courageous and to not be afraid when things do not go as expected. This season strives to help us move toward the Light of the newborn with the name of Jesus, God’s son, who desires to bring us to a place, where a precious vineyard will flourish.

May we take time today to welcome the desire of Jesus to us and us to Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray this Advent brings you unexpected gifts of new life!

DR. DIANE AMES is the interim Dean of the School of Nursing and has served at Concordia since 2003



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