Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way of your only Son. John the Baptist appears in the desert with us this week. The crazy guy in sackcloth eating locusts makes his yearly appearance to announce the coming of Jesus into our world and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. His coming, foretold in Isaiah, also brings messages of comfort and the rough places made plain to prepare the way for the Lord. We practice saying these messages during worship, in order to say it with our lives in a world in need of justice and peace.
Good news of God’s coming to a people in exile
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Righteousness shall prepare a pathway for God
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Waiting for and hastening the day of God
John appears from the wilderness
In worship this week we highlight the messages of John the Baptist in the hymns we sing. Prepare the Royal Highway and Comfort, Comfort Now My People each put the words of Isaiah and John in our mouths. Practicing this message of preparation, proclaiming the coming of the Savior of all the nations, helps us feel ready to share this good news with others outside of worship. In Prepare the Royal Highway we sing in verse three “God’s people, see him coming; your own eternal king! Palm branches strew before him! Spread garments! Shout and sing!” Linking together the preparing of our hearts for the coming of Jesus to the Palm Sunday processional holds another important message: the coming of Jesus into our world as a King is mirrored in the progression of Jesus to the cross.
Called to prepare our hearts, what preparations can you make to allow God to work through you?
Where in the community do you see God making rough places plain? How is St. Peter’s a part of that action?