As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’” (Mark 1:2-3)
PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD
It seems to me that a big part of the season of Advent is about preparing the way of the Lord. In fact, we could say that is true of the spiritual life, generally.
The Lord is seeking us. God is always approaching us, seeing if we want to engage, learn, play, or listen. The Holy Spirit is always nudging us in this direction or that, offering guidance. Whether this connection happens or not has everything to do with us.
Can you picture those scenes in the movies where someone is being chased, and they run through a crowded city street or an alley or a market, throwing food displays and anything else they encounter in the path of their pursuer, doing everything they possibly can to get away? I think that’s a good depiction of what we often do with God.
Instead of preparing the way of the Lord, we are putting as many obstacles as possible in the Lord’s path. The “objects” thrown in the Lord’s path can be anything from electronic devices to a super-packed schedule to our exercise routine to a really good book or our favorite music - anything that distracts us and keeps us from connecting with God.
Perhaps we are afraid. Perhaps we’re afraid of silence, afraid of what we might hear God say to us. Perhaps we are afraid that if we turn aside to be with God, we won’t be “productive.” Perhaps we’re afraid to sit still long enough to allow God to shine a light on us, and remind us who we really are - a beloved child of God.
I know it is still Advent, but here are two phrases from familiar Christmas carols to think about:
“... let every heart prepare him room...” (Joy to the World)
“O hush the noise and cease your strife and hear the angels sing!” (It Came Upon the Midnight Clear)
How might you take a little time to prepare the way of the Lord today, and make his path straight?