3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord[a]; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
These words proclaiming that God is coming as Lord and King were first spoken as words of comfort to God’s people when they were in exile. They welcomed them and anticipated being restored to their land and God’s presence returning to his temple in Jerusalem. But it’s much more than that.
We rightly remember it at Christmas, as we think about God, who created everything, stepping into his creation as one of his creatures – becoming one of us. John rightly reminded people of it as Jesus began teaching that the kingdom of God was at hand – close enough to touch. But it is much more than that.
John rightly saw that preparing the way for the coming King needed to start in our hearts. But Jesus knew that removing all the obstacles between God, the king, and his people would mean dying in our places. When he’s raised to life, it’s the beginning of God’s restored, resurrected creation.
It’s about more than God returning to live in a building. It’s about his Holy Spirit coming to live in his people. It’s about waiting eagerly for Jesus to return as King – God revealed to everyone in all his glory. It’s about Jesus bringing God’s whole plan to reconcile and renew all things to completion.
It’s about us welcoming the King into our lives. It’s about being one of the many voices proclaiming that God is coming now to everyone who will welcome him. His glory will be revealed to everyone, and we can be sure because the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Written by David Cornell