Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Little Something Extra...Second Sunday of Advent

Preparing the Way of the Lord 

John the Baptist is the voice crying out in the desert. He lives in the wilderness, the deserted places, where most people never go. He wears a garment of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist and makes his meals of locusts and wild honey. He is a strange man, but people can't help listening to him. 

John the Baptist has a mission: to prepare the way of the Lord and to help others do so. He calls the Jews to repentance, offering a baptism that allows them to confess their sins and receive forgiveness. This is not yet a sacramental baptism, the kind that infuses God's sanctifying grace, His very divine life, into people's souls. But it is a preparation. 

John the Baptist is fulfilling a prophecy made hundreds of years before by Isaiah. He is the voice crying out, 

"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." 

Take these words to heart this Advent, and ask yourself some very important questions. 

1. What makes you turn aside from the straight path to the Lord? 

2. What kinds of obstacles do you put in the Lord's way as He seeks to enter and go deeper into your heart?

3. How have you dug valleys or built mountains with your worldly desires and sins?

4. Are you willing to let God level those valleys, flatten those mountains, straighten your paths, and smooth your road to Him?

5. How might you cooperate with Him in this task? 

John the Baptist knows that that the efforts involved in preparing the way of the Lord would lead to great rewards. Isaiah gives us a hint: “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” When we prepare our hearts to meet God, He does not hesitate to come, bringing salvation with Him. Salvation from sin. Salvation for eternal life with Him. 

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