My Bible study group happened to study the beginning of Mark's gospel just a couple of weeks ago. We talked and talked about what John the Baptist's quote from Isaiah, 'prepare the way of the Lord' means, and what 'make his paths straight' means, and what these phrases mean again and again for us as Advent approaches every year (Mark 1:3). We all engage in a lot of Christmas preparation: decorations, presents, cookies, cards, etc. Are those examples of preparing the way of the Lord? We often prepare to do extra giving at this time of year to worthy organizations that support others. Is that preparing the way of the Lord? We are often more attuned to the carols of the season and to the nativity scenes, and we may attend church more regularly during Advent. Is that preparing the way of the Lord? We receive Communion on the first Sunday of Advent and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Is that preparing the way of the Lord? We focus on family and on showing our love and care for them at Christmas. Is that preparing the way of the Lord?
Or.... is preparing the way of the Lord about us as individuals and our relationship with God? Are we prepared for the Lord personally? Are we using this Advent time to make right our relationship with God? Are we ready for the way of the Lord in our lives? Have we prepared for the ultimate gift and straightened the path for his arrival in our lives in a new year, and perhaps in a new way?
If so.... then all of our preparations of the season will be focused on 'the way of the Lord' and we will be 'making his paths straight'!