1 Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Last Christmas we spent time at my parents’ home where I grew up. I snapped this photo of the fireplace just after the fire began to roar on its own. When I was little, a fire in the fireplace meant we would be staying at home all day. It was a wood burning fireplace that needed to be attended, not gas logs to turn on and off at a whim. So a fire for me meant a day of comfort in the den with warmth, a puzzle, cards, music, family, laughter, football games, and a nap.
I wish for this so much today at the beginning of Advent so that I might slow down and let go of the busyness of life with three teenagers and a full-time job. So that I might let the light penetrate my tired bones and fill that place of emptiness that needs to feel the presence of God. I pray this for all of you as the time of preparation is underway. Make way for the Lord in your heart and in your home. Invite others in to do the same. If it has been a particularly difficult year for you, I pray this is a time of healing in the midst of your grief. Advent healing makes way for new birth and new life! Thanks be to God!