Mark 1:1-8 – The 2nd Sunday of Advent â€“ for December 4, 2011
“‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straightâ€¦â€™â€ (Mark 1:3)
When I write the opening sentence of these musings, Iâ€™m about four mouse clicks away from a file on my hard drive labeled Backpacking. There, I could find a list of 90+ items essential for a multiday hike. Itâ€™s a checklist, with gear like liner socks, tent stakes and water filter. I know where all the 90+ objects are stashed for easy access.
Letâ€™s say you called right now and lured me with, â€œLetâ€™s go for a three-day hike along Californiaâ€™s Lost Coast*. But we have to leave tomorrow morning, crack of dawn.â€
My reply: â€œWhoâ€™s driving?â€ Iâ€™m ready to rumble. Iâ€™m . . .
Advent’s Second Word: PREPARE!
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An examination of my legs would find miniscule scars and smooth divots encircling both kneecaps. On four occasions Iâ€™ve been wheeled into an operating â€œtheaterâ€ to snip and reshape a torn meniscus. Arthroscopic surgery is relatively simple, using precise, minimally invasive tools to repair damage. At each procedure I observed machines ready to monitor my status, the coolness of the room, snippets of dialog between the surgeon and nurses. Before drifting into unconsciousness, I sensed their readiness. They were . . .
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4 5-oz pieces of salmon
14-oz can of chopped tomatoes
I took that list (and more) on a supermarket excursion for a recent meal. Giada De Laurentiisâ€™ â€œSalmon Baked in Foilâ€ was on my mind and soon to be on the table, along with rice pilaf and sautÃ©ed kale. Sometimes I â€œhuntâ€ for groceries without much of a list, but when Iâ€™m planning a nice meal for friends I like to be on thyme and . . .
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The second Sunday of Advent whispers, â€œPrepare!â€
Actually, it seems to shout the word. Isaiahâ€”deutero or second Isaiah for you Biblical scholarly typesâ€”declared the importance of preparing the way of the Lord, â€œmake straight in the desert a highway for our God.â€ Isaiah wasnâ€™t talking about an asphalt ribbon slicing through Death Valleyâ€™s harsh landscape for a weekend retreat in the desert. Instead, Mr. Isaiah, as familiar with a real desert as he likely was, demanded believers to prepare their weary souls for hope, good tidings, Godâ€™s guidance . . . even when everything around the Israelites seemed as bleak as, well, a desert. Continue reading →