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.’
“Drivers familiar with Highway 101, County Road 61 and Pioneer Trail know that its hairpin curves, blind driveways, and steep grade can make for a stomach-clenching, white-knuckle drive,” wrote a reporter for Southwest News Media in 2018.
This stretch in the southwest metro (Chanhassen) expects to have its low places raised up, its hills made low, hairpin curves straightened, and the uneven ground made level in 2020.
Highway planners have been doing the same along freeways, highways and county roads ever since the invention of the automobile. We want to travel more quickly, as well as safely.
This is the best picture of I can give you of what the people of Isaiah’s day were hoping for — an easier, simpler route to return to their homeland in Israel — a 900-mile trip they first made as captives of the Babylonian Empire.
After several generations separated from their homeland, to hear that they will be able to return home — and on an easier route — was music to their ears.
In captivity, the people of God grew in their faith and trust in God. Taken from their temple, stripped of the land and possessions they owned, they took comfort in God’s love for them in spite of what property they had lost. They learned again what it was to be in relationship with God, to worship and honor the Sabbath.
What will it take for you to make the path straighter, smoother, more spiritual this Advent season? What distraction or clutter do you want to remove this Advent to prepare for Christmas? What can you take on that will deepen your hope and spiritual experience of Advent?
In the name of the God of HOPE,
Pastor Bonnie Wilcox