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 15 – An uncommon knock

Isaiah 30:27-31:9 and Revelation 3:1-2

Relaxing after a hard day of work followed by chores around the house, I sat down to eat and watch a little television. If my wife, Kathy, had been home,I would have been prone to fire up the grill to prepare a balanced meal of grilled chicken and asparagus. Instead, I plunked down onto the couch to eat a “balanced” bowl of Golden Grahams. Are there veggies in Golden Grahams? Perhaps better not to ask.

There was a gentle knock at my door. Was it the first knock? Perhaps not. It was so gentle that I wondered if I might have missed previous knocks. It was my neighbor, who said that he had knocked several times. I apologized for missing his attempts as he shared he needed me to help him move some furniture. I was very happy to help, provided I could keep from hurting myself—something my friends and my wife, Kathy, would be quick to point out is that always assured. Fortunately, this time we moved the furniture without event.

Revelations 3:20 illustrates that it is not just our neighbors who knock for us. In this verse, our Lord shares with us, Behold, I stand at the door and knock.If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.God has been knocking on doors for millennia,sometimes loudly and sometimes very quietly and humbly. In Advent, we celebrate the coming of our Savior. He knocks on our doors not with swords, divisive words, or fear, but with the humble love and hope of a newborn baby lying in a manger. Jesus knocks for us to answer His call to share His hope, love, and renewal with the world. Jesus’s knock does not brazenly demand action without choice or free will. Rather, Jesus knocks for us gently and intricately, leaving us to choose our response. His knock is a divine,interlaced, repeating pattern of unconditional forgiveness, unending love,and a call to serve others with our unique sets of bestowed gifts. None of us will meet this perfectly, yet Jesus shows us that He does not call us to be perfect. Rather, He calls us to answer the knock with love.

So, this Advent season, are you ready for a knock at the door?

Dr. Mike Brown is a professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Pharmacy at Concordia University Wisconsin,where he has served since 2009. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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