Devotion for November 30, 2021

Luke 3:1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

Your neighborhood may already be showing signs of Christmas lights. There may even be a nativity set up on a nearby lawn. In one sense the pageantry of lights and décor are ways of crying out in the wilderness. “We want a reason to celebrate!” “We seek joy and happiness.” “We want to feel something!” These are probably not the thoughts of your neighbors as they put out their decorations but consider what the meaning behind it is since we don’t decorate our homes like this year-round. Just maybe we do this as a way to proclaim a coming love that the world needs in a baby. Maybe we decorate to show and share joy and delight. Regardless of the why, even for armchair psychotherapist like me, each who follows Jesus, does well to live by the words of Isaiah, “prepare the ways of the Lord,” through lights and love.