December 1st by Jim Boal
A voice cries out: In the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
There are a few things happening in this short passage. First there is a voice crying out. The identity of the voice is not known, but this happens a lot throughout scripture. All through the second part of the book of Isaiah there are voices calling out. In the New Testament, John the Baptist says, “I am the one crying out in the wilderness.” (John 1:23.)
Also, it seems that these voices are always crying out from the wilderness. Not from the temple or a place of comfort, but from a place from which we would like to be rescued. Did these voices need to be in the wilderness before anyone would listen?
Third, the cry instructs us to get ready for something big! Make the highway straight! There is no time of year that we spend more time getting ready for an event than Christmas. We spend time, energy, and money getting ready for Christmas in this culture.
For our first Christmas, in 1972, my wife, Carol (God bless her), introduced me to the concept of Christmas baking. She would spend a month in the kitchen making cookies, candies, and cakes just in case a large army stopped by. And, of course, there is Christmas shopping, which, this year, began before Halloween! Because of the economy, merchants are nervous about their sales this year. There are many who depend on this time of year to see them through more lean times.
But the scripture calls us to make the highway straight through this wilderness. What is our wilderness this season, and what is preventing us from preparing a straight path? Jesus, you are on your way. Help us listen to the cry in the wilderness and make for you a straight path.