When people were fascinated by pleasure and prosperity, forgetting God and taking him for granted, the prophets perceived the consequent evil and fore-warned them to return to the Lord. Again when people felt God had forsaken them in their poverty, captivity or exile, the prophets expressed faith in the fidelity of God to the people, and they gave messages of hope that God will come soon to deliver them.
Prophet Baruch (also Isaiah) and John the Baptist, urge us to this preparation. The imagery they used to explain this preparation is the practice of preparing the way for a monarch traveling through wilderness where there was no road. A crew of workers would precede him, making a way passable for his chariot. John the Baptist calls us to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. This is a spiritual preparation rooted in our behavior and life style. This preparation is needed in our times, as we struggle to deal with the challenges of remaining faithful in the midst of life’s difficulties today.
The Prophets believed without seeing. We believe having heard and seen. We are fortunate that we have all the reasons, evidences and resources to anchor our faith on firm foundation, and look forward to the final glory (2nd coming of Christ) that awaits us.
Saint Paul (Philippians 1:4-11) filled with joy in experiencing God’s love and peace wants to share the same with us. The kingdom of God has arrived in Jesus but has yet to come in its fullness. This time of “already and not yet” invites us to rejoice, praise and thank God, and intensify our preparation. For the salvation is close at hand. I quote Paul’s prayer; “…That your love may more and more abound, both in understanding, and wealth of experience, so that with a clear conscience and blameless conduct you may learn to value the things that really matter, up to the very day of Christ.”
Take a little time to reflect on what your preparations are during this advent to welcome the Messiah in your life.