Is 40:1-5, 9-11
2 Pt 3:8-14
In 1869 two rails met in Utah, one coming from the east, the other from the west. The meeting of theses rails tied America together by train. This did not just happen. It took much planning, and much preparation. The course of the rails had to be laid out, the route decided upon. Those coming from the west had mountains to contend with. They literally had to make crooked ways straight, fill in the valleys and level the hills. Surveyors had to lead the way, prepare the way, so the rails could meet. They prepared the way, but the work still had to be done. People still had to lay the track, put the ties in place, drive the spikes that held it all together. Only when the work was done could the dream of a transcontinental rail system become a reality.
John the Baptizer served as a surveyor. He cried out in the wilderness, showing the path that we must follow. He showed us the route, but the work still must be done. The way of the Lord must be made ready by us. We are the laborers, we must make straight the crooked paths, we must fill in the valleys and level the mountains and hills, of our souls. We must do the work, the work necessary to make ourselves ready for the coming of the Lord. Our task is often difficult, we have many obstacles, many mountains to contend with. It is, however, work well worth the effort. Advent offers us the time to hear John’s call, to begin following the path he surveyed for us, to make the crooked straight, to fill in the valleys and level the mountains, to make ready in our hearts the way of the One who came, and will come again.
The Second Sunday in Advent
Dec. 7, 2008