How Do You Prepare?
"The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
Luke 3.1 - 6
Today we hear of the last Old Testament prophet John the Baptist as he fulfills the words of prophecy (above) from the book of Isaiah."Prepare the way of the Lord" John and Isaiah both say...these instructions mean many different things through Biblical history, but at this point John is calling on the people to prepare to receive the promised redemption, the good news. And that preparing looks like repentance from old ways of living, commitment to new ways of living, baptism to sanctify those changes and getting ready for Jesus to live in our hearts.
What do we do when we are having guests? I read a story recently about a woman who went so far as to comb the fringe on her oriental rugs when she was having guests. If you are like me, there is a lot to do in preparation for house guests, and I often do not get it all done. We spend a great deal of time "preparing" for Christmas with trees and decorations, wreaths and even manger scenes. But how do we prepare our hearts? Where is the fringe of the rug in our heart, where is the tree that needs to be decorated with lights and ornaments?
I still have this little book If Jesus Came to My House that was mine as a child. We read it regularly, and in it I learned about all the ways to prepare my house if Jesus were coming to visit and what to do when he arrived...give him a cup of tea, offer him my coziest chair, give him a bouquet of my most beautiful flowers.
Though dated and not politically correct, I think this story is a beautiful metaphor for preparing for the Coming of Christ, for being "kind and good." Enjoy the little video, and let it bloom in your heart with images of ways to prepare for the Holy Night when Christ will come. And most especially share it with a child!
The original version of this book is out of print, but an updated version is available at bookshop.org.