December 07, 2006

Prepare the Way

Isaiah 40:1-5

"Prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God."


Some time ago the president of the United States visited Chicago, and I remember hearing on the local news that certain streets were blocked off so that the president could travel without obstacles to his destination. A way had been prepared for him.

In Isaiah's day, if a king or dignitary was going to visit, the way would have to be prepared. This often meant repairing roads, removing fallen trees or other obstacles, and eliminating all detours so that there would be no barriers to the king's arrival.

Isaiah tells us that in a similar way we are to "prepare the way for the LORD." At Christmas we celebrate the coming of the King, so it's important to prepare our hearts for his coming by removing the obstacles that stand between us and a right relationship with God.

Perhaps your heart is filled with hatred or bitterness toward someone, and this stands between you and the Lord. Perhaps there are things in this world that are more important to you than God; those things stand as a barrier between you and the Lord. Perhaps there are other sins you allow to have control in your heart--each one is a barrier, an obstacle to allowing the Lord to come into your heart fully and completely. Repent and remove the barriers, and open the way to Christ.

Dear God, I repent of the things in my life that are barriers to my fully accepting you and your will for me. May I always be prepared to receive you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Joel Sheeres

Rev. Joel Sheeres is the pastor at First Christian Reformed Church in Crown Point, Indiana. He and his wife, Christine, have three children. Pastor Sheeres has previously served at Faith Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois.

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