Advent Week 2: Preparing the Way; Dec 12, 2013
Read Isaiah 40:3-5, Luke 3:5-6, and Isaiah 62:2,6
- A voice cries out: “in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
- “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:6)
These verses are promise and instruction and warning: We are to prepare the way and all people shall see it together! This brings further meaning to the task of lifting up valleys, bringing down mountains and hills, and smoothing the rough places: the work is not just for the arrival of our God but to enable others to see and know the Lord! The glory of the Lord is not just for the elite or specially chosen ones — God has chosen all people and has given us the task of making the way straight and smooth so that everyone can come to know God!
Now the mountains are the mountains of privilege and prestige, the mountains of obstacles and injustice, the mountains of oppression. We are to level the playing field. Anything that puts one person or a system above another person is a hindrance to the way of the Lord. So our attention is forced to focus on the social, political, and economic systems in which we live and work, as well as on our own lives.
- “…you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord shall give….Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones ….” (Isaiah 62:2, 10)
- “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)
Suddenly, the demands of the Gospel seem much more difficult!
Meditation: How can I prepare the way of the Lord” by “preparing the way for the people?” How can I hasten the day when “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” together? Pray for guidance and understanding of what God wants you to do. Ask for God’s judgment, healing, and empowerment. Remember to wait, in silence, for God’s response to you.