Friday, December 7

Isaiah 40: 3-5 (NRSV)

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.”

Luke 3: 3-6 (NRSV)

He (John the Baptist) went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Looking ahead for visiting friends and family is an exciting thing. What about going to visit friends and family? This is also greatly anticipated. Some people say that the wait is more exciting than the actual event. I tend to agree. As a kid, I made paper chains with the days for December on each piece. Every day I removed a link. Christmas was coming! On the day my grandparents were due to arrive, my brothers and I waited at the big picture window and watched for their car to arrive on our street. When we traveled to our grandparent’s home, we would count the mile markers down to the magic number that marked the exit into their small town.

Anticipation leads to celebration, and it is almost always a joy!

Isaiah foretold John the Baptist’s arrival. John foretold Jesus’ arrival. The expectation of both prophets brought joyful expectation for God’s people. For them it was not merely a fun time, but it was looking ahead to a time where the oppression of the Hebrews would come to an end. The Messiah would restore their freedom. Jesus was not only a person for which they waited, He marked the arrival of a new kingdom, one in which they would no longer be oppressed.

It seems much more important than my childhood anticipation of time with Grandma and Grandpa.

Waiting for John, who helped us wait for Jesus, has far greater implications. In this season of Advent, we wait with great anticipation of a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Pray: We can’t wait, but we will. Be with is in our anticipation, so that when we celebrate our Savior’s birth, the arrival will be a wondrous time. Amen.