A series of biblical readings and prayers from David L. Miller, senior pastor of St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Naperville, IL. David is the former editor of The Lutheran magazine and Director of Spiritual Formation at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Monday, December 07, 2015
Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
The voice of hope
Wilderness is not a dry
rocky space where life is hard. It is not a trackless thicket, a forest where
you cannot find your way.
It is where you get
lost, where you lose yourself and you forget who you are, your truth and value.
Wilderness is the
anxiety that grips you difficult days when you can find no peace from which to
draw strength. It is living with complicated relationships, navigating conflict
and wondering if you really see things as they are.
For the prophet Isaiah
the wilderness was the wild, rough landscape separating his people, Israel, from
Judea, their home. Exiled in Babylon, they flew across the wilderness on the
wings of imagination to survey the ancient hills and see Jerusalem again, the
place of Presence where the Holy One was known and worshiped.
This was home. But their
homes were long abandoned and the ruined temple was a pile of scattered stones.
And they were far away, lost and captive, fast losing their courage and the memory
of what it felt like to know God’s presence filling their hearts. They ached to
feel whole and beloved again.
The Bible does not
tell us the identity of the voice who cries out, “prepare the way of the Lord.”
Whoever it is, this is
the voice of hope. It speaks to ancient Israel … and you, making God’s message
clear: “I will not forget you. You are always
on my heart. I will come to you in your wilderness that you may come home and know the Love I am.”