Prepare the Way

The first week of December….

Advent, the marching towards. Waiting, expecting, preparing. We keep vigil, count the days, prepare the way.

What are we preparing for?

A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD ;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:3

I love the book of Isaiah. I love the beauty of the words, how they echo the Psalms in their poetry and promise, how they unfold the future and enfold the past, how when you are reading them you find a sense of God’s complete plan…circular, encompassing, woven in one beautiful piece.

Prepare the way for the LORD.

What are we preparing for? It is so very easy to lose sight of that. We are surrounded by so much distraction relating to this season of Vigil, this time of preparing the way. But the message of Isaiah cuts through the ribbons, the paper, the glut of consumer frenzy, the pull of want, the lure of things. The message is simple, pure and direct: Make straight the way. Slash through the wilderness of worldly spiritual clutter and make a highway…a thoroughfare, a direct path to your heart. Open the way for the LORD to walk in.

How will you prepare the way this year?

It’s on my heart this Christmas season that we, too, can be the voice the prophet spoke of. Like John the Baptist, we can be the voice calling in this modern desert, this dry and weary land where we fill our empty thirst with things and rituals instead of Living Water. We can use our lives, our words, our hands, our hearts to prepare a way for the Lord in the hearts of others, to make straight the paths in our own lives.

Keep the vigil with me. Let’s make this season about something more, let’s use this season of waiting to share a gift that will never run dry, never be used up, never be forgotten. Isaiah’s words ring as true today as they did in his own time, and in the time of the One whose birth we celebrate this month….. In the desert, prepare the way for the LORD!

Related: Ann Voskamp’s Finding Christmas

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