Christmas Preparation

Sun lifting the clouds on the mountain peaks

Mountains make ready for the sun.

A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the
Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5

I prepare by humbly asking for the Holy Spirit to come and make a straight path through my wilderness. Allowing my Lord to raise me up from my dark valleys, to fill them in with His presence. Then ask Him to bring down the mountainous obstacles I have erected, such as my way versus His way, and a pride that rebuffs the notion I need changing.

“Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
For this is what the high and lofty One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:14-15

Light of Life

morning light
The right light makes this photograph beautiful. It is the same for our life.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Later in the chapter Jesus explains what He means by, “I am the light of the world.”

“Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. John 8:14

I struggle with that fact all the time. When traveling I hate to ask for directions, because then I have to admit I do not know what way is right. It is the same for the right way to go in life.

With all the debate about how to stop the mass killings, how to deal with immigration, what to do with millions of refugees, we need to admit we don’t know where we are going, and follow the light of the world.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Reflecting the Light

mountain reflection

I can either obstruct the light and become part of the shadows, or reflect the light and be part of the kingdom of light.

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.” -Jesus, Luke 11:23

Tangled

cedar tree roots entangled in rocks

Tree roots in a tangled knot


Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts. Proverbs 21:2

Trying to sort things out (choices, direction, motives, etc.), can be very difficult, because as the verse says all my ways seem Godly to me. So how do I know when I am pleasing to God, or just pleasing myself?

I can’t. All I can do is ask for help.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

When I think I know the way, that is when I start to wander.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7

New Creation

Sun light through mountain clouds highlighting cascading ridges

When light and clouds turn the ordinary into extraordinary.


Amazing how sunlight and clouds can take what a minute ago appeared ordinary and hardly worth looking at, into something breathtaking. Often we have a similar lack of understanding when looking at our own lives, or at the lives of people we meet. Even our appreciation of Jesus is flat and unremarkable. This happens when we look with worldly eyes, very little is perceived, and we move on. But if we let the glory of the Son of God shine upon us, then everything is cast in a new light. We see far beyond the ordinary and behold the eternal. Next time you get down on yourself, or on someone else, remember — in Christ that which looks dry and worthless can become a glorious new creation.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17)