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2013 - Advent's 2nd Invitation: "Prepare the way of the Lord!"

Reflection by Sarah Greene

What does it mean to prepare the way of the Lord in Advent?

For me, it often means setting a small, well-intentioned goal:

This Advent, I'll strive to be more reflective.
I'll offer up an extra bit of patience as the busyness of the Christmas season dawns.
I'll make a few moments for quiet prayer and the lighting of Advent wreath candles every day.

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All of these are genuine efforts to prepare the way, but John the Baptist proclaims a different type of preparation: one of true change, true renewal.

"Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!" John the Baptist, herald of the kingdom, challenges us.

Come out of the desert to baptism in the Jordan! Turn your hearts completely, from pride to humility, from oppression to justice.

For as we prepare for Christ Jesus,
we also prepare for his kingdom, when we, and our world, will be transformed.
God's lasting peace will reign forever,
and all nations shall see the salvation of God.

What would it look like to prepare the way of the Lord with more courage this Advent, with more zeal, with more openness to true change, repentance, and renewal?

Lord Jesus, as we await your coming at Christmas, open our hearts to the coming of your kingdom,
which promises total transformation:

in bleak deserts, proclamations of hope;
in wearied hearts, comfort and peace;
in darkness, everlasting light.

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