Advent on the Wilderness Highway

“A voice cried out in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places plane. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. And all people shall see it together.” – Isaiah 40: 3-5

The word Advent, means “arrival, appearance, or emergence.” The season of Advent is a time of waiting, praying, pondering, and getting ready. Advent calls us to listen for the voice that is crying out in the wilderness of our hearts—a voice that encourages us to pack, unpack, and prepare for the sometimes hard spiritual journey of giving birth to the light of Christ.

As we travel together in the spiritual wilderness at UCH, we are building roads, trails, and highways that bring the presence and voice of our Still-speaking God into our lives and into our community in powerfully new (and sometimes new old) ways! As we build and travel these highways of relationship building, justice seeking, repentance, and heart opening—even when the terrain is rocky and the going is rough—God is leading us, giving us the right building tools, and sending us companions on the journey, so the “crooked places” we have to travel are “made straighter” and the “rough places” smoother.

God chose some pretty ordinary folks to bring Jesus into the world. John the Baptist, Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, and the Shepherds were not wealthy, power holders, representatives of ruling empire, or part of the religious elite. They were sometimes strange, flawed, unnoticed, outsiders called by God to build some pretty challenging spiritual highways through wilderness they had never traveled before. As they serve as our traveling companions in coming weeks, may we learn from their courage and tenacity. And may we open our hearts to the stories they tell, so they can teach us about highway building and desert travel, and about giving birth to the light of Christ into the world.

See you on the wilderness highway!