Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins. Listen! It's the voice of someone shouting, Clear the wat through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills, straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all the people will see it together. The Lord has spoken! (NLT)
This was supposed to be my first reflection for Advent. I got a little bit busy yesterday, and didn't have the time to get to it. What a glorious picture. By this time the Jews had endured all the hardship of there punishment from God. Now, God has promised to bring that suffering to an end. Unfortunately, they were looking for an end that God never intended. God had worked in the physical world to punish them, so they looked for a physical deliverance. God had always been looking toward a spiritual relief. God was preparing them to experience all of the spiritual deliverance that Christ was prepared to bring to them. It has yet to occur when God will redeem all of his creation. All of creation is groaning in anticipation of that day. Let us spend this Advent preparing our hearts for the spiritual deliverance that God is prepared to bring us. Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, let us prepare our hearts for the miracle of Christmas and the coming of Christ to redeem a people for himself.