A voice is crying out: Clear the Lord’s way in the desert! Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!
Isaiah 40:1-11 – The Second Sunday of Advent – for Sunday, December 7, 2014
“A voice is crying out: Clear the Lord’s way in the desert! Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!” (Isaiah 40:3)
Some say, fervent and sure in their beliefs, that Isaiah predicted a voice in the future: a John the baptizer that would cry aloud in the literal wilderness, a harbinger for Jesus’ ministry.
Some say, fervent and sure in their beliefs, that Isaiah was not predicting a some-day future of John and Jesus, but shouting an every-day truth in the metaphoric wilderness: a longing for God to transform a wounded world.
Either way, when modern hearts and minds read Isaiah’s ancient cries, there is a belief that from the wild, from beyond our safe homes and familiar streets, a change will come.
American poet, Mary Oliver penned,
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.
The second Sunday of Advent has arrived. Come walk with me into the woods, in the wilderness of yesterday’s Isaiah and today’s faith . . . but only if you are not one of the “smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.” Continue reading →