Hills and Valleys: Advent 2
The second week of Advent is about Peace. Peace is an interesting word. It can mean not being in conflict. When the Bible talks about peace, it can also mean completeness or wholeness. Like a wall being incomplete so bricks are added, and now it is complete or whole.
The reading associated this week is Luke chapter three where John the Baptist is being connected with the one preparing the way in the wilderness. The thing that stuck out for me this week in the reading was how the mountains are laid low and the valley’s filled. The image makes me think of the mountains bowing and the valleys rising. The idea makes me think of the mountains that have so much release what they're holding on to so they can bow down to the coming of the Lord. At the same time, the valley’s which are feeling empty, drained, have nothing to offer, seek to be filled.
The poetry the prophet who originally wrote the words is trying to talk about creation preparing for God’s return to the world. Yet, I cannot help but think this imagery can help us prepare for the Lord’s coming.
How do we prepare in this season for the Lord’s return? How do we make a path for the Lord in our lives? First, I think for some of us there is a lot we are holding onto. We are so busy and juggling so many things we are like a mountain holding on to some much dirt and rocks that it makes it impossible for us to bow and be ready for God’s return. At the same time, maybe many of us fall into the trap of trying to buy the things we want or our loved ones want. We become consumed with the deals and the buying that it becomes a burden than a loving gift. Our reflection for this time is, “what can I let go during this season? How can I get out of our rigid structure I am in to find myself bowing in reverence of God?”
The second way we can prepare in this season for the Lord’s return is by looking to the valleys. Those that feel empty, drained, entirely out of time and energy, how do we fill ourselves? How do we become complete or whole by taking space and time for us to be filled? What are the things we need in our lives to feel full and ready for God’s return?
If we can answer these questions for ourselves, I believe we will begin to straighten the path that seems so complicated and twisted. The path being in the presence of God. Sometimes we find ourselves traveling all over the place, mentally, physically, and emotionally, but how do we make the road traveled on straight, simple, and clear to meet and experience God?