Devotion for the Second Sunday in December
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)
During the season of Advent, this season of preparation, we hear again lessons about John the Baptist, the voice crying out in the wilderness, making people ready for the ministry of Jesus to begin.
But if we keep Advent and Christmas only as a remembrance of events from 2000 years ago, we miss the point.
Advent reminds us that we are called to prepare the way for Jesus in every day and in every age. And in the hustle and stress of this holiday season, we intentionally and specifically seek that space and create that space.
We prepare the way for Jesus when we carve out intentional time to sit before God, perhaps in quiet, perhaps with a devotional, perhaps with Scripture.
We prepare the way for Jesus when we reach out to others. Perhaps we will call or visit someone we know who is lonely. Perhaps we will make a meal for someone who is sick or hungry. Perhaps we will give out of our abundance to someone who has little this time of year. Perhaps we simply offer a smile or a shoulder or a listening ear to someone going through a difficult time.
We prepare the way for Jesus by looking where God is at work around us. It is so easy to look for the bad things going on in the world, but there is so much good. There are plenty of examples where ministry is happening, where people are reconciled, where healing occurs. We are called to look for those places and participate where we can.
In these ways, Advent does not end with Christmas. It begins there. It begins where we like John the Baptist prepare the way of the Lord and join in the work of God’s Kingdom.
God, open my eyes to where you are already at work. Empower me to participate in your work and prepare the way for Jesus to transform the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor David Armstrong-Reiner