Isaiah 40:1-5 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
Isn’t that just beautiful imagery with a beautiful outcome? I couldn’t help but think about Christmas preparation today and wonder if Isaiah foresaw how we have tweaked it to become the very thing he was urging us to straighten out.
It’s weird, I know, but the image of a pinball machine popped into my head. You know the ones with little balls that are batted to and fro, amid the bells, whistles and flashing lights? It’s a game that you’re supposed to manipulate to get to the final bell ringing goal. Oh Lord, what a picture of all that Christmas preparation is NOT supposed to be.
Isaiah’s voice can hardly be heard above the din but preparation is not the problem, HOW we prepare is. Consider and compare pinball game preparation and the Prophet’s Preparation. Pinball preparation is like a wilderness, it’s uncharted territory controlled by gifts, decorations, food, other people’s schedules, programs and events. Interesting Isaiah uses the image of a two way street isn’t it? You might not be able to control all the traffic but you can control whether you are coming or going and what the direction will be. And therein lies the wisdom of the Prophets’s Preparation and the promise it holds…”And the glory of the Lord will be revealed.” That’s when you know it really is Christ-Mass and that you’re ready for it.