Main Text: Luke 3:1-6 (Malachi 3:1-4; Philippians 1:3-11)

We often hear these words calling for preparation as our sole responsibility. It is good to ask the question of how we are preparing for God’s presence in our lives. The readings for today, however, are not focused on how we are preparing for the coming of God. Instead, they are focused on how God is preparing the way to us. In Malachi, God is preparing the way by sending a messenger. That messenger comes with instructions and guidance for how to receive the presence of God. Paul recognizes that God has already begun the work. Now, he is calling them to live into that relationship. As the Lord is separate from our circumstances, yet present in them, it calls us to prepare our lives for the reality that God has promised. The reading from Luke of John in the wilderness, reaffirms the message that the presence of God changes everything. The message from John was not for us to make the paths straight. The message was that God is going to make a way to us, which he has done through Jesus Christ. Where do you see God making a way? Where has God leveled the mountain or raised the valley between you? God is preparing a way to us. God is calling us to be prepared to follow that path. Even in the wilderness, God is near!