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Isaiah 40:1-11

Making a Path

Advent is and always has been one of my very favorite times. Candlelit vigils, snowy days, gathering with loved ones, soup suppers and preparing for Christ – it is all so heartwarming! This year, it feels a little more difficult to look forward to Advent. As the world copes with the ongoing global pandemic and our healthcare systems (and all systems, really) are strained, we are living in a time where most can relate to feeling weary. 

Turning to God’s word, we are comforted. From the mountaintops, a message of good tidings is shared: “Here is your God!” Not only is God here, but also, we will be fed like a flock, we will be carried and gently led. We are not alone in this time no matter how desperate it may feel. Another helpful message when times are hard is right here in Isaiah 40:8: “the word of our God will stand forever.” 

We are reminded to prepare a way for the Lord. When reflecting on this, I think about small actions I can make in my daily life. How can I lift up the valleys, make the mountains low and level the uneven ground? How can I do those things for my family members, my neighbors and my community? Creating space for God in our daily lives and removing obstacles from our paths are simple ways. Being that patient family member and good neighbor are great actions to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Yes, we have endured great trials and tribulations this year but today, we remember that creating a path for our Lord and shouting the good tidings from the mountaintops will pay off. We will be comforted. 

God Creator, in this time of Advent and as we make a path for the Lord, help us to remove all obstacles that keep us from You. Remind us of the comfort in your love and help us extend this comfort and message of good tidings to our loved ones and neighbors. Amen. 

Abra Patkotak – Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Anchorage 

Comfort, O comfort my people,
 says your God.
 2Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
 and cry to her
 that she has served her term,
 that her penalty is paid,
 that she has received from the LORD's hand
 double for all her sins.
 3A voice cries out:
 "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
 make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
 4Every valley shall be lifted up,
 and every mountain and hill be made low;
 the uneven ground shall become level,
 and the rough places a plain.
 5Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
 and all people shall see it together,
 for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
 6A voice says, "Cry out!"
 And I said, "What shall I cry?"
 All people are grass,
 their constancy is like the flower of the field.
 7The grass withers, the flower fades,
 when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
 surely the people are grass.
 8The grass withers, the flower fades;
 but the word of our God will stand forever.
 9Get you up to a high mountain,
 O Zion, herald of good tidings;
 lift up your voice with strength,
 O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
 lift it up, do not fear;
 say to the cities of Judah,
 "Here is your God!"
 10See, the Lord GOD comes with might,
 and his arm rules for him;
 his reward is with him,
 and his recompense before him.
 11He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
 he will gather the lambs in his arms,
 and carry them in his bosom,
 and gently lead the mother sheep.

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