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 21 – Focusing on the star of the story

Isaiah 42:1-25 and Revelation 9:1-12

Today’s reading from Revelation 9 conveys how a star had fallen, which is the Devil, and how he has the power to realize all evil. He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft (Revelation 9:2). It goes on to explain the suffering he will cause through descriptors of locusts who will prey on those not marked with God’s seal. The account can certainly cause fear and terror. It may be easy to make this “star” the main focus of the story; and for people not connected to Christ through faith, that temptation becomes even more serious.

Yet, we as Christians, marked with God’s seal at our baptism, have hope. The words of Isaiah 42 foretell of a Savior who can bring us comfort during our times of fear in this Advent season and any other time in our lives, too. I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them(5, 16).

As we anticipate the Christmas season, we can be blinded by Satan’s smoke today and focus on a worldly view of Christmas, surrounded by the ubiquitous but ambiguous “holiday spirit.” Instead, by faith, we should look to the star in the Bethlehem story and be lead to Jesus, the Christmas gift wrapped simply in cloths, laid in a manger rather than under a tree. He was born perfect and blameless that He could take away our sins and protect us always from Satan, the fallen, who seeks only to turn us from the truth and bring suffering and pain.

While we may have purchased many special gifts to share with other sin the next few days, we are called to share the distinct hope we have in Jesus with others every day. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth…let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands (Isaiah 42:10-12).

Faith Stanley is a freshman at CUW majoring in pharmaceutical sciences. She is involved in the pharmacy club, psychology club, and the Black Student Union. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.

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