Isaiah 40: 1-11
“Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Each year during Advent, we hear “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,” calling us to “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” This highway, in the book of Isaiah, is the road the Lord will travel to return home to Jerusalem.
At the end of this road leading home, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together.” There could be no more comforting words for a people in exile.
God’s treasured people were far from home and far from God for many long years during the exile. This distance, God’s judgment on the people’s sin, proved spiritually effective. The people once again ached for their God. And when the people had “served her term,” God made plans for a grand homecoming. Forgiveness, restoration, and glory waited at the end of the highway!
Are we ready to come home to God?
John the Baptist was the prophet who called the people to get ready for Jesus’ arrival. His voice in the wilderness announced that God was once again traveling the highway to make a home with humans, once again showing up in glory. John told his listeners to get ready for the new thing that God was doing in Jesus.
Advent is the perfect time to do just that. Our preparation for Jesus’ birth means a homecoming for us too. How have we been living far from God? What would it mean for us to let our longing lead us back home? Home is that divine place where we are known and loved, accepted, embraced, and forgiven.
We do not have to be perfect to find our way home. We do, however, have to be willing to forgive and be forgiven, and to give and receive unconditional love. When we do these things, we will see God’s glory with our own eyes at the end of every road we will ever travel.