(Because I originally prepared this for print, I have forgotten the brilliance of the internet for information at our finger tips! I have put in links to the scripture and other information in this one and will go back later to put them in previous posts.)
(For the beginning of this series of readings go here.)
Week 1, Thursday—Isaiah 40:1-5; 52:10
Prepare the Way of the Lord by Jacques Berthier
Prepare the way of the Lord.
Prepare the way of the Lord,
And all people will see the salvation of our God.
On a trip to Israel and Palestine, our group of fairly sedentary Americans, were struggling with walking the streets of the villages and towns in which we stayed. Every step was either uphill or downhill and rocky, so much so that to step into a flat surface was quite a relief. One particular literal uphill struggle we had stopped to rest halfway up, and as we were resting we see a little boy running and kicking a soccer ball up the hill, seemingly without effort! The ease with which he moved was quite the cause of conversation among our little group. One of us remarked that she wished nothing more at that moment than the valleys had been lifted up and the mountains brought low in preparation for the Lord, so that we who visited the area later might enjoy it.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of preparing the way of the Lord so that all people will see the redemptive glory of the Lord. After experiencing the terrain of the land, I appreciated more fully the “valleys and mountains of the scripture. I thought not only of the ease of movement, but also the ability to see for a distance, which only happened at mountaintop moments. What if we could see clearly without any obstruction all the time the salvation of God?
This hymn from the Taizé community is a repeated chant, and after singing it a couple of times through becomes so deeply rooted in our hearts and minds that we recognize that we are to prepare the way of the Lord so that all people see the salvation of our God. What can we do this season while we watch and wait for the Advent of the Christ to prepare the way for God’s salvation for all people? How have we either with or without intention caused those places that people struggle and stumble, and we block the way of the Lord, rather than prepare the way for God’s salvation to be known? Wherever we have caused hardship for others, we have caused it for ourselves and have kept ourselves from fully seeing God’s salvation as well. How can you remove obstacles so that you too may experience God’s salvation?
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ Isaiah 40:5