Saturday, November 30, 2002

Isaiah 40:1,2a,3 – Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for. A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." (NIV)

This weekend I went to the mall. People were bustling about, seasonal music was playing in the background, and lights and trees were everywhere. Some folks were searching for a gift to express their love, while others were collecting for a local charity. Parents were lining up in the department stores, hoping that the latest shipment of the most recent fad-toy would not be sold out before it was their turn. Amidst the hubbub, I couldn't help but ask myself, "If Isaiah the prophet were here today, would he recognize, from our preparations, that we, the Christians of North America, are anticipating the celebration of Christ's birthday?"

Today's scripture tells us to prepare the way for the Lord. What would Isaiah say about our frenzied preparations, about the lights we string around town two months ahead of the birthday, about the parties we attend where Christ is never invited, and about the church plays and choir practices that leave us tired and exhausted? More to the point, what would Jesus say about our preparations?

There's a chorus I learned in my youth and the words would make a beautiful prayer for all of us this season:


    Into my heart, into my heart,
    Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
    Come in today. Come in to stay,
    Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

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About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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