A voice cries: “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 made low; the uneven ground shall become level and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken”. Isaiah 40:3-5
This wonderful passage of Scripture heralds the coming of Jesus the Messiah. John the Baptist proclaimed this in the desert to an unbelieving generation with power and authority. Frederic Handel, the famous 18th German composer, set these words and other prophetic passages to music in his much beloved work, Messiah. If you have never had the opportunity to hear this two and half hour worship of the Living God and gift of Jesus Christ to us, I urge you to do so. This concert has been a holiday tradition for my extended family for many years. My parents, both opera singers, always enjoyed the beauty of the music, but were not convicted by the words and life-saving message of Messiah.. I marveled at this and once even quipped to my father, “ Imagine all of this, just for some itinerant rabbi from Galilee!, what are the odds of that!”. While they were alive we sadly agreed to disagree on the question, “Who is Jesus?”. In the last several years, I lost both of my parents. As I sat in the concert hall, I gazed across the orchestra pit to where my parents always sat. Their seats were empty. Did they in their last hours, prepare their hearts for the Lord? Had they made a straight path for the Lord, removing obstacles that got in the way?
What about you? Have you prepared your heart to meet the Living God? Are you like an ancient workman, preparing the path for the Kings’ arrival, clearing away thorns, boulders, ditches, so the Lord has a clear road to your heart? If not, why not? What obstacles are getting in the way of your obedience to Messiah? This time of Advent is a time of repentance, a time of surrender, a time of rededication to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Today is the day, sometimes tomorrow is too late. Prepare the Way for the Lord! The King is coming! Hallelujah! For the Lord Omnipotent Reigns!