Summary: Jesus came as a baby in a manger, now he is coming as the King of Kings, we must get ready.
Preparing for the Guest of Honor
ISA 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." 6 A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
9 You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!" 10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
One of my favorite movies is “The Wizard of Oz”. In it the main characters, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, The Tin man, and the Lion go to meet a wonderful man who can do miraculous things for them, the wonderful Wizard of Oz. They follow the Yellow brick road to the Emerald City. He is the only one who can bring Dorothy home, give the Scarecrow a brain, the Tin man a heart, and the Lion courage. As they enter the Emerald City, they prepare to meet this wonderful man.
In our text today we see this wonderful being is not waiting for us to come to Him, he is coming to us.
Isaiah tells that a voice is crying out in the wilderness. We know that John the Baptist was the first to fulfill that role. His voice cried out telling his world of the coming of the Lord.
If we are to be ready for the coming of the Lord, we must:
1. Listen for his voice.
a. Where is the voice heard?
We hear his voice in the wilderness/desert. Why? The Israelites were familiar with desert terrain, yet this does not necessarily mean a physical place. It is a dry place, it is lonely, threatening and frightening. It is desolate, and often used to describe desolation that has come upon a nation because of sin. It can describe our Spiritual lives. We become a desert spiritually when we allow sin to rule, when we do not do the things we ought to. Just as the slogan says 7 days without prayer makes one weak. Our spirits can be a desolate place when we do not allow God to rule in our lives and hearts.
In order to hear the voice, we have to get rid of the distractions. Hebrews writer tells us to throw off sin that so easily entangles. God does not wait for us to be in this state before he starts calling. Paul tells us in Romans 1 that the attributes of God are known through creation. I like the poem called “The Letter” because in it we see that God is trying to get our attention every moment of our lives. Everyday God calls to us with a beautiful sunrise, rain or shine, He calls to us. However, sometimes we have to be in our desolate place in order to hear him.
We have agreed that Christmas has become too commercialized. Remember the story “Who invented Christmas” too often Christ is not remembered in Christmas. Now I like Christmas specials, A Christmas Carol is one of my all-time favorites, however how many Christmas specials do we see that are about the birth of Jesus? I do remember one about 7 or 8 years ago called “The 4th Magi” but other than that, I do not remember any others that are about the birth.
Look around today, how many places do you see with a manger scene, or playing Christmas Carols that are about Jesus. We have even changed Christmas break to winter recess. The world has drowned out that voice, it has drowned out the real meaning of Christmas. Therefore, we have to go to that deserted place to hear His voice, because there we hear without distractions to drown it out.