“Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone
and her sins are pardoned.
Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over
for all her sins.”
Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness
for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
for our God!
Fill in the valleys,
and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
The Lord has spoken!” Isaiah 40:1-5
Advent begins a season of waiting and expectation and preparation and I find myself thinking about the Christmas story, God’s story about how He came into our messy world and our messy lives to invite us into something amazing. I don’t know about you, but every year December arrives and the days pass in breakneck speed and it seems I can barely catch my breath let alone prepare my heart for Christmas.
This year I refuse to repeat that pattern of hustle and bustle and running and racing around in an effort to create something special. This year, I choose to find the quiet of Christmas and to open my heart to the glory of the Lord and to bask in the joy that comes with the birth of Love. The amazing, unconditional, overflowing love demonstrated by a God who gave up His place in paradise to step into my messy life in this broken world.
This Christmas I choose to follow the path through the wilderness and through the wasteland. I choose to walk the filled-in valleys and the leveled hills, the straightened curves and the smoothes rough places. This Christmas I choose to find my part in the Story into which God invites us all.
This Christmas I choose to draw near to Mary during the visit from Gabriel and to listen to the words of her faith-filled prayer.
This Christmas I choose to marvel at the prophesies that foretold of a Savior’s birth.
This Christmas I choose to gather with the shepherds in the field when the angels sing of the glory of the Lord and to travel with them to Bethlehem.
This Christmas I choose to seek the star and the babe in the stable, snuggled in His mother’s arms and held in her love.
This Christmas I choose to prepare my heart and to draw near to the God who was Emmanuel and treasure that miracle in my heart.
There is a path that beckons us and a God who invites us and a Savior who welcomes us.
There is a Story that each of our stories is intricately connected to and this year I choose to seek and to discover the ways my story unfolds into God’s greater Story. Perhaps you’d like to join me and together we can weave our stories into the revelation of the glory of the Lord.