December 9, 2018: Second Sunday of Advent
Reading: Luke 3:1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of 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:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Every time I read this passage from Isaiah, I think of the musical Gospel and the song, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.” The song is 15 lines long, and 13 of the lines repeat those same words, over and over. We’ve heard those same words repeated over and over as well, at the beginning of every Advent. You’d think we would get the message by now! Do we utter in exasperation, “How can I ‘prepare the way of the Lord’ when I am overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations?!”
Perhaps a practice this week might be to set aside 10 minutes each day (okay, even five minutes or three minutes!), first thing in the morning or last thing at night, to just sit with open hands and be still, asking God to quiet our hearts and open them to God’s peace and loving presence within us.