Friday December 7

Luke 3:1-6 “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  5 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;  6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’”

During Advent we cry, “Prepare the way of the Lord.” We cry out for something other than the dysfunction we find within and around us. By faith and in hope we live in two time zones—our time of exile now, in the wilderness, and the time of God’s redemptive future. Even though we still anticipate our full redemption—and the redemption of our entire world—our very anticipation of that redemption is a way of living in that redemption, even if the stark reality of our lives and the world around us makes clear that it has not yet fully arrived. So our cries are not futile. As we boldly announce the Lord’s coming, things do happen. The way of the Lord gets prepared, even in the wilderness. God uses our cries to prepare us for a tomorrow, a new heaven and a new earth, that actually is right here before us—even now.

Dear Lord, use our Advent cries to prepare us—right now—to be a palpable sign of your coming among us, even amid all that counters your truth. Amen.

Advent Photo Challenge:  Take a picture each day during Advent and share on your social media platform of choice with #stpauladvent
Today’s picture inspiration: Between