You have wearied the Lord with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.Malachi 2:17 – 3:1
God had been silent for 400 some years. This prophetic message lay waiting … that God would send a messenger to prepare the way.
God met Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth in their old age, faithful servants, and through them He sent the long awaited messenger!
Zechariah, John the Baptist’s dad, sang, ” And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation …” (Luke 1:76-77)
Luke quotes Isaiah as John comes on the scene preaching, “A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”
Advent is not only a time of expectation, it is a time of preparation! Yes, there is the list-making, the cleaning and cooking, the shopping and wrapping. So much joy is invested in the preparation of the celebration of Christmas!
And yet, one of the sweeter preparations is that of the heart. Taking time to quieten our hearts before the manger, to contemplate the miracle of the incarnation, to once again bow before the king in humble submission allowing the holy light to shine in our hearts – to illuminate, heal, purify … such preparation is the work of Advent.
Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,Philippians 2:12b-13
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
As we prepare our hearts, we experience His peace. May our hearts be softened to the message of Christmas. May we experience the peace that comes from a right relationship with the God of Christmas.
In His Temple now behold Him,
See the long-expected Lord;
Ancient prophets had foretold Him, —
God has now fulfilled His word.
Now, to praise Him, His redeemed
Shall break forth with one accord.
In the arms of her who bore Him,
Virgin pure, behold Him lie,
While His aged saints adore Him
Ere in faith and hope they die.
Lo! the incarnate God most high.
Jesus, by Thy presentation,
Thou, who didst for us endure,
Make us see our great salvation,
Seal us with Thy promise sure,
And present us in Thy glory
To Thy Father, cleansed and pure.
Prince and Author of salvation,H. J. Pye, 1851
Be Thy boundless love our theme!
Jesus, praise to Thee be given
By the world Thou didst redeem,
With the Father and the Spirit,
Lord of majesty supreme!
As you pray today, thank God for the opportunity to prepare your heart. Ask Him to help you quieten your spirit before Him, to rest in Him. Experience His peace today.