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 7 – Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Isaiah 24:1-13 and 1 John 1:1-2:14
That which was from the beginning…which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life, the life was made manifest. 1 John 1:1-2
I purchased a cute nativity when my children were young. It was wooden,chunky, and best of all, mostly indestructible. It was perfect for little hands.
One year, I gave my son, Nathan, permission to set up the nativity by himself. He was five years old and SO excited. I handed him the box, showed him the picture of how to arrange things, then bit my tongue to keep from giving“advice” as he set to work. There was a pause as he verified which piece was Joseph and which was the shepherd (they do look quite a bit alike), but when he finished, it looked just like the picture on the box. I was so proud of him.
Moments later, though, Nathan was re-arranging the pieces. My instinct had me quickly saying, “Nathan, that’s not the way it goes,” but I hadn’t even finished my sentence when he stepped back and said, “There! Now everyone can see.”
With my heart melting, I saw that he had crowded the pieces around baby Jesus. And he was right! It’s a more accurate representation of that first nativity to have everyone in tight, so all could see. The “characters” weren’t spread out, facing front as depicted in most nativity scenes. Babies possess an invisible magnet that draws people to them. Everyone wants to see this new miracle. Yet what if the baby with the invisible magnet was the Son of God, now made manifest in the flesh? Wouldn’t you most certainly get asclose as you possibly could?
I am sure the shepherds crowded in that night to see this wonderful thing that had happened. I would love to go back and be part of that moment, but that would not put me any closer than where I am today. Christ lives in me. And He not only came to me, He came for me!
What a tremendous gift we’ve been given, eternal life that is poured out on us today in Word and Sacrament. I am so grateful for my son’s depiction of the nativity scene… which we now set up that way every year. As we assemble the pieces, we thank God for the gift of His Son and for drawing us close to Him!
Allison Wolf is the Lead Student Success Advisor for Concordia’s Extended Campus Operations and has served at CUW since 2013. View a full schedule of “An uncommon Advent” readings here.
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