3 A voice is crying out:
“Clear the Lord’s way in the desert!
Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!
4 Every valley will be raised up,
and every mountain and hill will be flattened.
Uneven ground will become level,
and rough terrain a valley plain.
5 The Lord’s glory will appear,
and all humanity will see it together;
the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”
6 A voice was saying:
And another said,
“What should I call out?” (Isaiah 40:3-6)
Reflection: Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent, and what we typically refer to as "Peace Sunday." But in this time in the world, I've found it difficult to figure out what to say about peace.
While on the one hand we know that the Christmas season can bring moments of peace and stillness as we embrace the "reason for the season" and see so many people doing good things for fellow-humankind, we know that is not entirely the truth. For we also know that there are places like Ferguson, MO and Cleveland, OH where racial tensions tear at the seams of society. We know there are places right here in Kansas City where hate crimes outside of a mosque bring sickness to the season. We know there are places in Syria where war rages on, and places in Africa where Ebola continues to take lives.
Isaiah says to "Call out!" and "Clear the Lord's Way!" but what am I to "call out"? What can we possibly say that would change these tensions and ruptures in society? What can we say that will bring healing and wholeness, and peace? What can we say that will remind people we may not be able to determine who is "right" and "wrong," but that God's way is different, and there is another way? What can we say that will remind ourselves of the peace that Christ brings?
God is erupting in human history – as God has done before through his prophets and people Israel – but now in a new, incarnated way. This is a big message, but it is an unconventional, upside down one, and one that requires us to "clear the way!" As Jesus’ followers seeking peace, we would do well to remind ourselves that God-in-Christ is both among us, and coming, and if we let him deal with us, we can be changed individually and collectively. If we let God' erupt in our own lives, then we can experience a glimpse of the peace that calls out "LOVE!"
Come, help us learn more, together, on Sunday! We welcome all who seek the way of Jesus to the table, and to our faith community. We hope you will join us!