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2022 Advent Devotion: Prepare the Way
“A voice of one calling, “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3, NIV)
Hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, Isaiah prophesied a coming Messiah. These prophecies were handed down through the ages, passed down with deep longing and expectant hope. Then, after generations of waiting, the prophecies were fulfilled: John the Baptist testified that he is the messenger—the voice in the wilderness making way for Christ.
In the Gospels, Isaiah’s prophecy accompanies John the Baptist’s announcement of the one who would come next. The apostle Mark makes it central to the story; his gospel opens with:
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” — “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. (Mark 1:1-3, NIV)
While Isaiah and prophets wrote about the first coming of Christ, the command to “prepare the way of the Lord” rings just as true as we anticipate the second. As we enter the Advent season, we celebrate God’s promises that are fulfilled through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We also know that God’s story is not over yet—and we get to be a part of it unfolding. Even as we are intimately acquainted with suffering, violence, and anguish, we can trust and participate in the renewal of this world.
As we anticipate Christ’s return, how do we, like John the Baptist, prepare the way for the coming of the Lord? Amidst conflicts in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Iran; as climate disaster, war, and political strife force people from their homes; while children experience hunger—what does it look like to make paths in the desert for Christ?
Luke’s account of John the Baptist in Luke 3:10-20 provides further insight. When John rebuked the crowd for their sins and called them to repentance, the crowd asked, “What shall we do?” John’s response provides a taste of what Jesus later came to say: help the poor, feed the hungry. Be honest and fair. Treat people with dignity and respect. Speak out against abuse of power.
Advent is inherently a season of preparation; we prepare to celebrate Christ’s first coming and prepare to welcome the second. We prepare our hearts for the day when “every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low” (Isaiah 40:4). Join us over the next few weeks as our writers explore what it means to “prepare the way for the Lord.”
World Renew, Resonate Global Mission, and CRCNA Social Justice are providing a devotional series for Advent 2022 called Prepare the Way for the Lord. The devotions will be delivered to your email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Advent.
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11/27/2022 - Prepare the Way | Prepare the Way!
11/30/2022 - Prepare the Way | Fringe
12/2/2022 - Prepare the Way | Yielding to the Kingdom
12/5/2022 - Prepare the Way | Shattered Ceramic Cats and Love
12/7/2022 - Prepare the Way | The Prince of Peace and the Bread of Life
12/9/2022 - Prepare the Way | Blessed are the Poor
12/12/2022 - Prepare the Way | Pondering Paradox
12/14/2022 - Prepare the Way | The Congregation at the Foot of Babble
12/16/2022 - Prepare the Way | Wilderness
12/19/2022 - Prepare the Way | The Space Between Remembrance and Hope
12/21/2022 - Prepare the Way | Hope and Steadfast Love
12/23/2022 - Prepare the Way | Good News from the Feeding Trough
12/01/2021 - Advent | Lamb of God
12/03/2021 - Advent | Jesus, the Good Shepherd
12/06/2021 - Advent | True Vine
12/08/2021 - Advent | Light of the World
12/10/2021 - Advent | Firstborn Over Creation
12/13/2021 - Advent | Son of Man
12/15/2021 - Advent | Jesus as the Bread of Life
12/17/2021 - Advent | Advocate
12/20/2021 - Advent | Morning Star
12/22/2021 - Advent | Jesus, My Friend
12/23/2021 - Advent | Christ the Rock
12/24/2021 - Advent | Immanuel
12/25/2021 - Advent | Hope for Wholeness
12/02/2020 - Advent | God Sees
12/04/2020 - Advent | Lament Towards Shalom - His Peace
12/07/2020 - Advent | Convicting Crossroads...Will We Fight or Flee?
12/09/2020 - Advent | The Disruption of Advent
12/11/2020 - Advent | Finding Home
12/14/2020 - Advent | A Conversation with My Hairdresser
12/16/2020 - Advent | And He Will Be Our Peace
12/18/2020 - Advent | Shalom Y'all
12/21/2020 - Advent | Jesus Will Disturb for OUR Peace
12/23/2020 - Advent | Watching in Hope
12/24/2020 - Advent | God's Promises of Peace and Shalom
12/02/2019 - Advent | Call Me Bitter
12/04/2019 - Advent | How Long . . . Must People Suffer? . . . Will God Be Silent?
12/06/2019 - Advent | Making Injustice about Me
12/09/2019 - Advent | I Am: Who Does God Say He Is?
12/11/2019 - Advent | Knowing Him by Name: I Am
12/13/2019 - Advent | I AM Willing
12/16/2019 - Advent | Waiting in the Time Between
12/18/2019 - Advent | Waiting with Hope in the Lord, Even in Death
12/20/2019 - Advent | Patience for the Kingdom
12/23/2019 - Advent | A Light in the Darkness
12/24/2019 - Advent | Hope in the Unseen Places
12/25/2019 - Advent | In the Suffering - God With Us
12/03/2018 - Advent | Imagining Hope
12/05/2018 - Advent | Waiting for the Hand of God
12/07/2018 - Advent | Not Pity but Love and Anger
12/10/2018 - Advent | Who Exactly Is God With?
12/12/2018 - Advent | A Holy, Impatient Pranayama
12/14/2018 - Advent | ‘The Poor Will Always Be with You.’ Worship or Justice?
12/17/2018 - Advent | Tethered to God’s Faithfulness
12/19/2018 - Advent | Looking Impatience in the Face
12/21/2018 - Advent | Hoping, Groaning, and Laboring for Peace and Justice
12/24/2018 - Advent | Holy Impatience, Holy Incarnation
12/04/2017 - Advent | Upside-Down Promises
12/06/2017 - Advent | Holy and Here
12/08/2017 - Advent | Pay Attention. Fasten Your Seatbelt.
12/11/2017 - Advent | Immanuel to Read Us!
12/13/2017 - Advent | The Word Became Flesh: An Advent Journey Toward True Self
12/15/2017 - Advent | In Relationships, Humility Instead of Helping
12/18/2017 - Advent | Dressed with the Armour of God
12/20/2017 - Advent | Incarnate Gifts
12/22/2017 - Advent | Immanuel—God’s Presence in People in a Time of Need
12/25/2017 - Advent | Living in Darkness, Waking in Light