Editor's note: "An uncommon Advent: the arrival of a Savior in our lives" is a sampling of biblical meditations composed by members of the Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin 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 2 – A focus on being rather than doing this Advent

Isaiah 8:9-9:7 and 1 Peter 4:1-19

College life reveals a number of personality types, but there is one often evident in any class or seminar. It does not matter whether it is test day, a day when a project is due, or simply daily homework. This type of student is quick to be seen and heard. Despite all of their preparation, they are convinced they could have, and should have, done more. “I just don’t think I did enough!” they say after they have already taken copious notes and aced nearly every quiz. Their supplies are impeccably organized; they do everything ahead of time. Their life seems to be in order in every single way, but still they sweat and worry that all of their preparation will not be enough. They are focused on doing, yet uncertain that all of the tasks will be completed as needed.

Perhaps, this is the way Advent can feel. Often, we feel busy and overwhelmed by everything the season has to offer, or everything that we feel needs to get done. Christmas cards need to be sent, finals and projects need to be completed as scheduled, or grades have to be submitted. Amidst these to-do lists, we can feel wrongly, or under-prepared, for Jesus’ coming,much like Martha when Jesus visited her house (Luke 10:38-42). Yet, as Christ followers, we must remember in faith that He came and did it all. Rather than losing Advent focus due to a list of presents to buy, we should focus on being in His word and seeking His presence.

This is when Jesus invites us to take a break from our myriad of responsibilities and to find our rest in Him. Our task list from 1 Peter is more about being—being loving, being hospitable, being of service—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ(I Peter 4:11). Even when this earthly life seems full of difficulty, persecution, suffering, and hardship, we are given the promise of peace within God’s Word and eternal rest when Christ comes again. Because of this, we can joyfully sing. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given (Isaiah 9: 2, 6).

Aaron Wentzel is a senior majoring in Lutheran secondary education (history) and serves as the president of campus ministry at Concordia University Wisconsin. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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