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“Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!”
(Matthew 3:3b, NLT)

The words of John the Baptist seem to resound even more this time of year. His very words are taken from the Old Testament book of Isaiah:

“Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” (Isaiah 40:3-5, NLT)

Preparation, in this instance, means to clear the way. We try to clear the way by setting time aside each day to think about Christmas, reading Advent devotionals, and listening to Christmas carols and their familiar words.

Let’s think about the fact that Scripture tells us to “clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord!”

“This is the wilderness. This is the place where we have the chance to leave the biggest footprints in our lives and the lives of others. This is where we meet God and find out He has been with us all along. This is wilderness living. And this is our Advent life.”

(from The Advent Narrative by Mary Geisen, page 42)

It was in the wilderness that John the Baptist shouted to make the preparations:

  • “make a straight highway”
  • “fill in the valleys”
  • “level the mountains”
  • “straighten the curves”
  • “smooth out the rough places”

Preparation takes time and effort and energy. Preparation takes sacrifice.

We can easily overlook those words ”“ We cannot prepare ourselves by ourselves.

He comes alongside of us and enables us to prepare our hearts. It is all by His doing. He makes us ready, prepared, for the Lord, and for the day of His coming.

All these days of listening to Christmas music, reading Scriptures telling of the story of His birth ”“ all of it, this entire time …

He Himself is preparing us for our part in His story, His work.

If we truly believe this time is for preparation, may we humbly bow low and wait, as we ask Him to show us exactly for what are we being prepared.

John the Baptist prepared the way, also knowing his role in God’s grand story. He knew he was not to be the one recognized, but also knew he had a calling:

” ”˜I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:28-30, NLT)

As we prepare our hearts, making room for Him and Him alone,
we will see the glory of the Lord revealed.
And we will find our part in His story.

It seems I am not the only one reading “The Advent Narrative” this Advent season. In her post, Preparing in the Midst, Pam Ecrement also shares from the book. “God loves waking up our sluggish hearts.” May He awaken us to see Him this Christmas and in all of our ordinary days too!


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** This is an edited post.
Photo by Laura Baker on Unsplash
Today I am joining … Recharge Wednesday .