A voice is calling out: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord. In the wasteland make a level highway for our God. Every valley will be raised up, and every mountain and hill will be made low. The rugged ground will become level, and the rough places will become a plain. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh together will see it. Yes, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have sent your heralds into the world to prepare the way of the Lord. John was that herald that readied the world for Jesus’ coming. Today we still need that preparation, beginning in each of our hearts. Sin has destroyed your beautiful creation turning it into a wasteland. We need your Son and the Holy Spirit to do some major construction on our hearts to prepare us for you. We must recognize the deep chasms of sin’s despair and the mountains of pride our sin has left in our hearts. Our sins separate us from you and keep trying to put boulders in our way. They leave some rugged and rocky paths attempting to block your direction. However, these ways are prepared for by our Savior, so he has direct access to us. He has overcome every obstacle of our sins that would and should keep us from you. Through his suffering on the cross, he has filled in those chasms and removed those mountains. He prepares our hearts by already doing the work and the road repair. It is your Holy Spirit creating the faith in our hearts to turn us back to the cross so that we can trust the forgiveness already won for us. Through faith in Jesus’ forgiveness, we have been restored to you. Christ died to redeem us, and your Spirit kindled our faith and sanctified us, so we believe. So on the last day, everyone, whether a person trusts in you or not, will see Jesus’ glory, every knee will bow. Send your Son and Spirit, so through word and sacraments, they have all the tools to reconstruct my heart. Lord, thank you for sending John as your herald and thank you for continuing to send us pastors to prepare our hearts today. Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. The Psalmist reminds us, “The sacrifices God wants are a broken spirit, a broken and crushed heart, O God, you will not despise.” This is where forgiveness begins.