December 11, 2017

Isaiah 40:3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord[;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

The gospel writers saw these verses as describing John the Baptist. The original readers may have pictured the return of the nation to their home in the Promised Land from their exile in Babylon. The desert was not a place normally associated with God. When Jesus goes to the desert wilderness he encounters Satan according to the gospel writers. Desserts are oppressive and bleak. They seem God-forsaken and the people taken to Babylon may have felt as much. But the prophet announces that it is just in this place that seems Godforsaken that God is coming and will be with his people there. Advent invites us to look at our personal deserts- those places where we are emotionally and spiritually parched and barren. As we look for God’s coming in a baby at Bethlehem, we also may find God coming to these deserts of ours. This week, how might you make a highway for God in the desert places of your life?

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