A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Take a second to think about the transformation taking place during the birth of Christ. Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, and the shepherds were all being filled with the wonder of what God was doing for the world. In my own life, I am transformed from a self-interested and impatient human into one who lives in wonder of God’s love. I think it’s true that we are all in constant need of being touched by God’s transforming power, and the road building Isaiah wrote about is for our whole lives.
I’d be the first to admit that it is not (always) easy to prepare the Lord’s way; however, we are called to “make way” for our God by making the “rugged places a plain” and the “rough ground level”. We build roads by living out our faith and sharing God’s love. We are preparing the way of the Lord as John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. The people of Israel had a rough road coming back from their exile, but God promises to make it possible, and he promises the same to us still. Israel had spiritual darkness before Jesus came, but the glory of God came with him into the world. We are in spiritual darkness until Jesus comes to us too, and while “making way” may never be easy for us, God’s transforming power is always at work in the deserts of our lives.