Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-5
If there is another man that loves my wife more than I do, it is her father He is the one responsible for spoiling her. One of his colleagues said to him some years ago that when someone just says Jackie’s name, his face lights up.
In 80+ years, health challenges have limited his ability to travel. Jackie goes to Shreveport on to visit him and we have gone during the holidays to spend time with them.
In recent months, his health has improved and he has resumed limited travel. But, he had yet to accept our numerous invitations to come to Los Angeles. I suggested that we invite her parents to Los Angeles for Christmas one more time.
Initially, we got the same old responses. He was not physically up to it, the flights were too long and costly, and there was too much walking to change planes in the airports.
Jackie told them that we would share the cost, it would be our present to them. Her mother said that she would ask his doctor about it.
Jackie wasn’t at all optimistic, but I said to her, “Just pray about and leave it in the Lord’s hands.” In mid-November, her mother called and said that the doctor had permitted her father to travel and they could come for Christmas.
Jackie immediately began preparations for his coming. Jackie wanted the Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving. So, we decorated the tree and got that done. She wanted the lights up in the front and backyard of the house, so we got that done.
The faucet was leaking under the kitchen sink, so I called Greene’s Plumbing and they got that done. She planned all meals for their visit, so we purchased the food and got that done. Jackie’s dad was coming for Christmas and in mid-November, we started preparing for his coming.
This was the kind of preparation for which the prophet was advocating in the text. He began this section of his prophesy with words of comfort to a people who had been in Babylonian captivity.
“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, said your God (v.1). Speak comfortably to Jerusalem and cry unto her that her warfare is over and her iniquities are pardoned (v.2).”
The reason why they were in Babylonian captivity in the first place was because of their iniquities toward God. God’s judgment of their iniquities had been accomplished and God was sending the Messiah to free them from their captivity.
In so doing, the prophet admonished them to make preparations for His coming. Preparations filled with hope, excitement, anticipation and joy.
The language of the prophet is that of the march of a monarch. Whenever monarchs went on a journey or expedition, small armies were sent before them to prepare the way.
The armies would build bridges over streams, level hills, construct causeways through the valleys and remove all obstructions blocking the way of the coming monarch.
The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is on His way back again and we are admonished by this text to make preparations for His coming. We are admonished to remove the obstacles that can block His way from coming into our lives.
We are to build bridges over the streams of our sins, iniquities and irreligiousness. We are to level the hills of our pride, egos and self-righteousness. We are to construct causeways in the valleys of our depression, despondence and despair.
It was our most memorable Christmas ever. Everybody had a good time, not because of any presents we received, but because of the preparations we made for the coming of their presence.
In this season of preparation, let us make no less preparation for the coming of our Christ. Shalom!