"We are in Advent. We remember that a woman held in her arms a child, and that child was God. If we remember that, then we are givers of peace, we are lovers of the Beloved. We own him through love. And he owns us! the most extraordinary thing in the world is that God loves you and me!"-- Catherine de Hueck Doherty
(Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24)
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner's fire,
or like the fuller's lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.
Lo, I will send you
Elijah, the prophet,
Before the day of the LORD comes,
the great and terrible day,
To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
the land with doom.
Almost everyone believes in preparing for Christmas. But are we preparing the way of the Lord (Lk 3:4) or the way of the world?
The Lord calls us to make gigantic changes in our ways. Priorities as big as mountains in our lives should be leveled. Our valleys, depressions, pits, and ruts are also to be leveled. As crooked as our hearts are (see Jer 17:9), Jesus wants them straightened. As rough as our edges are, they must be smoothed.
The Lord is not calling us to maintain, much less to promote, the status quo of a world trapped in sin. The Lord is calling us to a revolution where the high and mighty are deposed from their thrones and the lowly raised to high places (Lk 1:51-52). That's what He means by "preparing the way of the Lord." Are you prepared for Christmas by Christ's standards?
Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Zechariah, John, and Jesus all went through big changes near the time of Jesus' birth. Are you prepared to do the same? Will you receive the real Christmas? Will you receive Christ?