Our readings once again this week encourage us to prepare well for the coming of the Lord. When the people of Israel were in exile, one of the tasks set them by their captors was the making of roads. From the Prophet Baruch we hear that God has decreed the filling in of the valleys and the flattening of the mountains so that a ‘highway’ might be made for the Lord. We in this day are asked to walk along that Advent pathway – to make a straight highway for the Lord to enter our lives.
We also know that of all the gospel writers, Luke had the strongest concern for history. He found it important to locate firstly the story of John the Baptist, and then the story of Jesus, in in the historical realities of the day. And so our Gospel this weekend begins with Luke naming the leaders who were in place at that time in Israel. After Luke has given his audience (and possible converts) a sense of place, he goes on to tell us of the mission of St John the Baptist – the patron of our diocese of Christchurch.
And so, with our eyes set now on the great festival of Christmas, lets make straight the paths for the Lord in our own lives.