As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“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.’”
Do you have an advent wreath in your home, and light the candles each week as we get closer to Christmas, closer to Christ’s coming? Do you have an advent calendar to mark one day closer to Christ coming? Or a Jesse Tree or Advent devotions? What’s your tradition? Maybe you’re trying something new. How do you prepare, prepare the way for the Lord into your life?
Advent is a four-week period of penitence and preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas and at the End, once and for all. As we wait for Christmas and we wait for Christ’s return, we eagerly await with hope the coming of the Light of the world to bring new life. How do you prepare for it? How do you make sure you don’t get distracted in this very hectic and distractible time of year?
Customs and traditions can help, but they can also become routine ceremony and just another thing on the to-do list. We need to have our hearts prepared by having them focused on and trusting the promises of Scripture. The Old Testament and New Testament speak of John the Baptist preaching, “Prepare the way for the Lord. Get ready for him. Get ready for God’s salvation!” Anyone living bogged down in sin, depression, guilt or fear must be lifted up in the joy of forgiveness to meet and know your Savior. Anyone living with arrogance or self-righteousness – thinking they don’t need forgiveness, what they’ve done isn’t that bad – they need to be brought down to earth and humbled to recognize and appreciate their Savior and their utterly dependent need for him.
How do you prepare? God’s blessings to you all as your clear the way for the Lord in your life and remain prepared.
Lord, come. Overcome the crooked ways of this world, level the valleys and mountains in our lives, and come to us, that our paths may be straight to you. Amen.