A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.‘
Yes, it’s true, I was one of those kids, the kids who’s bedroom got messier and messier with time. Eventually my mother would come to the doorway, sigh an exasperated sigh, and say, “Clear a path from the door to your bed.”
I would do it, though I am sure it took much longer than it could have, because as I cleared a path, I found dolls waiting to be hugged, drawings which need to be surveyed, and books which needed to be read.
Once the path was clear, my mother would come to my door and say, “Good job, this is much better, now, why don’t you see about cleaning this side of the path.”
You guessed it, I would clean it, only to be directed to clean the remaining side next. It was my mom’s way of breaking down the job for me.
When I read todays’ passage, I see my mom’s words, “Clear a path.” Isaiah’s voice in the wilderness says to “make the rough places plain,” in other words, make it easier to get from point A to point B.
What makes the way into our hearts rough? What blocks the way for Jesus as he comes to us?
For me it may be busyness, distractions like gift giving and cookie baking, or even unreasonable expectations for the holiday. These things start to take over my thoughts, my energy, my days, and they get in the way of the real purpose for Advent and Christmas. I am going to try to clear a path today. Maybe you would like to try it too.
Pray: Help me to clear a path from where you are to my heart. Come Lord Jesus, come. Amen