While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
John and his message were authorized by Isaiah’s prophecy:
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!
"Thunder in the desert!" I think that's going to be my new exclamation. Drop something on my foot? "Thunder in the desert!" Discover something amazing? "Thunder in the desert!" I like that.
What I'm not so sure I like is the "Change your life" part. Change my life. For what? In preparation for God's arrival? But how? How do I change my life to make the road smooth and straight?
Maybe I need to get obstacles out of my way. Perhaps I need to... to...
Let go of anger, stress, and worry.
Clear my schedule of non-essentials - of things that interfere with preparing my heart and home for Jesus' birth.
Spend time with those I love...real, focused, uninterrupted, in the moment time.
Take time to be quiet, pray, and listen.
Get a tattoo ...err... do something nice for myself amidst doing so much for so many others.
Take to heart what I've been practicing all year - that I am enough. That my preparations, whatever they turn out to be, will be enough.
Go to worship. Read by Bible. Pray. Center myself in Advent.
Wait, not with impatience, but with anticipation.
Open my heart to Love ... to what it feels like to receive the true Gift of Christmas.
And yes ... I did get a tattoo ... at a nine year old's birthday party yesterday (what is my life???)... it was my Christmas gift from my husband: