Advent Readings Day 8

Reading: Luke 3:1 – 6

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.’” Luke 3

I cannot read these word without having Handel’s Messiah pop into my head.  Handel had a way of putting these words so deep in my heart that I am moved to emotion as I sing these words over in my mind, even though it has been 20 years since I last sang these words out loud.

Of course while Handel was responsible for setting the words to music, it was not the tune that had the power.  It was the words.   These are words of hope and words of the arrival of The King to finally redeem and make all things right.

This word picture points to a highway being made for The Messiah to arrive on.   When I think on it, it calls two contrasting images to mind.  One is the road that leads to my house.  It is a road that all but washed out during the last rainy season.  There are rocks sticking up, really steep portions, loose gravel, holes that are 2 feet deep and places where we take another layer of metal off of the bottom of the van every time we drive it.  There is no schedule for it to be repaired and it awaits the next rainy season when it will only get worse.    If it continues on schedule there will be a day in the not too distant future when it will only be accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicles.

The second is the image of an interstate in my home state of Pennsylvania.  On this road they went to painstaking lengths to make a road that could be traveled on.  They blew the tops off of mountains, dug tunnels through other mountains, laid a good foundation as a base for good asphalt, and even put guardrails on the side of the road and nicely painted lines down the center and sides.  It is a smooth road that took a lot of work to build, yet now is accessible to all. (Except during Construction season).

When I think of those two roads in light of this scripture, I realize that we play a part in preparing the way of the Lord in our own hearts.  The great news of this passage is in verse 6 that now salvation is in view for all people.  It was no longer that only those who had Jewish backgrounds could enter God’s family, but rather salvation was opened to all.

However, what stood in the way now was more about the preparation for The Lord to come.  The highway needed to be built and John was preparing the way.

What about you and I as we count down the days to celebrating Jesus’ birth and all that it means.  How is the road of your heart today?  Is it full of obstacles that keep Jesus from really and truly having all of you, or is the way smooth for Him to truly be Master?

Today may He show us the valleys that need filled in, the mountains that need leveled and the crooked ways that need straightened.  May we go to great lengths to participate with Him in the surrender and the work of seeing our hearts more fully tuned to His sustaining Presence.  May He become Lord and Master of every part of you and I today.

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