Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, December 22

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Make ready the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
—Matthew 3:3

The passage that John the Baptist uses to announce Jesus' advent, his coming, is plucked right from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. And while many of us know the version found in Luke thanks to Handel, most of us also miss the point of what John is announcing.

John boldly claims that "every valley shall be exalted and every hill made low," that the "rough places will be made plain and the crooked straight."Why? Because when the Day of the Lord comes, things will return to how they were created to be, before our insistence that our way is better than God's way messed things up.

Jesus uses a similar image in his teaching. When the kingdom comes, the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and children shall play over serpents and not be bitten. For when the kingdom of God breaks in, all is in balance and creation sings—all things work together for the good of the God that gave them.

But of course, that's not the way it is now. Where is this new day in the midst of a broken world? The answer is within each of us. As Christ's body, we are all called to proclaim the Day of the Lord. We are called to live into the radical Good News that God has come to us and made all things new.

Sure, we can't see the fullness of it, nor should we enter some euphoric denial about the state of the world; all things are not new and redeemed. But we can proclaim that the valleys of life have been made low and the crooked, hard places made straight through God in Christ that comes among us—one who bears the hurt of this world with us and blesses it by taking the pain into God's very self.

While God's act does not take away all the difficulty, God's love does redeem it all. For God among us, Emmanuel, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Savior has made all things new. It's up to us to uncover the incredible transformation—to make evident what God has already accomplished.

God you make all the rough places smooth and you straighten the crooked places that seek to entrap me; help me to trust in your action within my life, and believing in your love for me, show me how to proclaim your kingdom to others. Amen.