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Advent Hope

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“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.’”

–Isaiah 40:3-4

The season of Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Christ child at Christmas as Emmanuel, which means God with us. The prophet Isaiah offers an image of making straight the highway for the coming of God.  The idea was that to clear a path for the coming of God, mountains would need to be knocked down and valley filled in.

In a spiritual sense, if we are preparing for the coming of Christ into our lives, we have to knock down some mountains and fill in some valleys.  A mountain can be something in our life that is in the way or something that is exaggerated to the point that we give more attention to it than we should.

Are there some parts of your life that are exaggerated or have taken on too great of importance?  For example, what’s the role of money in your life; what’s the role of needing to get ahead in your work; what role does needing the praise or accolades from others play in your life?  Are there mountains that are blocking God’s access into your life?

And of course, if there are mountains, there are also valleys.  If something is exaggerated, something else will be under valued.  What is under valued in your life spiritually?  Is it prayer or spending quality time with family or friends?  Is service or acts of mercy or generosity given a lesser priority in your life?  If there are valleys in your life, Advent is a good time to focus on filling in those valleys.

The coming of God is all grace and nothing we deserve or can do anything about.  But we can prepare the way for God…we can make an access point and a straight path for God’s presence to enter into our life.

The beginning of the Advent season is a good time to ask ourselves what are those places or things in our life that are exaggerated and given too much attention and what are the places or things that our under valued.  What are mountains that need to be leveled?  What are some valleys that need to be filled in?

May we use these early days of the Advent season to prepare for the arrival of Emmanuel to enter our hearts and lives.

Blessings during this Advent season,
Jenny

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