A voice is shouting in the wilderness,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.5
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.6
And all people will see God’s salvation.'
Luke 3: 4-6
Are you prepared? Are you prepared to welcome Jesus? With this Advent season that has come and gone, it was so hard to make time to become prepared. Christmas decided to come early this year. It decided to give us one day to celebrate the fourth week of Advent. I think it is save to say, Advent zoomed right past us.
We heard this message from John two weekends ago, with a voice shouting in the wilderness. In this passage John is telling us to be prepared. We are to prepare the way for the Lord. Now, John, isn't talking physically. He is talking about us and our lives.
He wants us to be prepared for the coming of Jesus. He wants everyone to be ready for when the Lord comes and so he does this by shouting to the people. Now, John didn't own land. He would have travelled to many different places. John was from the tribe of Levi. And so he was out there proclaiming to the people what God had filled him with.
Most of us have heard about John the Baptist ever since we were little children. Some people don't connect that John and Jesus are cousins. Mary and Elizabeth are cousins- Making Jesus and John second cousins. I don't know why, but I have always found it hard to teach little children on John The Baptist. I haven't found cool techniques that will help them remember him. And plus the bible doesn't give us very much about him.
According to this passage, John is telling us to make hills flat and path ways straight. So what does this mean for us? For us this means that we must forgive. We must lower the hills of pain, and evilness within us by forgiving. We must forgive others, and let go of the grudges. has hard has it is to really forgive on the inside; We must to be prepared. We are told to make straight the paths. The paths to our hearts. The path in which Mary and Joseph will travel into our heart and there Mary will bare her child.
At this time of year it will be easy to be greedy; and yes it will be easy to have pride; and yes it will be easy to want everything that anything. Yes it will be easy to envy what others get and what your don't. But really all we should be wanting is to receive Jesus Into our hearts this Christmas.
This Christmas we should seek God in everything we do, and in every moment of everyday. And a way we can seek God is through prayer. In dropping all our envy and pride, we unite our body, heart, soul, and mind together to seek God. Every time we seek God, we build up room for him. Where? In our precious hearts. We begin to build a space that perfect for a new born king.
United together has seekers of God, and filled with his holy spirit we begin to form a community. We begin to form a church. We begin to build up Gods holy and ever living building here on earth, other known as the church.
Jesus wants us to be prepared. He wants a comfortable and everlasting place to dwell within. And that place is YOU! He wants a place where he can live and be in. He wants a place where the hills are low, the path is straight, and the valleys are filled in. We must forgive others and humble ourselves and welcome Jesus.
As we draw closer and closer, and now counting the hours till Christmas, let us reflect on how well we are prepared for Jesus. How well have we forgiven. How much have we seeked the face of God in everything we do.
HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!