Almost Christmas, right? But the word ALMOST is an incredibly sad word. It usually denotes a crushing sense of failure, disappointment, and regret.
The Old Testaments abound with stories of “almost.” Adam and Eve ALMOST stayed in paradise forever until they ate the forbidden fruit. Moses was ALMOST about to enter the Promised Land, but God forbade him because he had offended God in the waters of Meribah.
King David’s record of unquestioning obedience to God’s law was ALMOST immaculate until he committed adultery and King Solomon ALMOST lived up to his reputation as a wise man until his lust for foreign women corrupted him.
In the New Testament, the rich young man who ALMOST got what he wanted-Eternal Life, he missed the opportunity because he was afraid to lose his many earthly possessions. The young man who ALMOST made it to the wedding feast but was thrown out for not wearing the proper attire.
Nothing is more tragic than a missed opportunity. How many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities have we missed because of our laziness, procrastination, unpreparedness, and misjudgment.
“Prepare the way of the Lord” serves the mantra of the season. As we get ready for Christmas, we should not neglect to prepare our lives for Jesus, who came as the “light of the world.” His light penetrated a dark world, which allowed all to see their Messiah and the hope of the future.
Today we need to be prepared for the coming of Christ. Learning more about what the Bible reveals about Christ’s return will enable us to understand the possible significance of world events. Be ready and be watchful, for the light of the world has come and will surely come again.
We are lighting a second purple candle of our advent wreath representing the hope of Christ coming to the world.
The word “HOPE” means the sense of eager anticipation or waiting. It can mean too a sense of confident expectation based on certainty. But above all Hope is secured by God’s faithfulness to His promises. It is the hope of the Messiah’s return as in the old leaders hope for His arrival. And now we confidently wait for the Messiah’s triumphant return.
To prepare the way of the Lord today, we must straighten out the tortured paths that truncate our sisters’ and brothers’ hope as they flee for their lives, seeking a haven. We are called to straighten out twisted communications with words of truth and sincere compassion even to our enemies.
To prepare the way of the Lord today, we need to muster the courage necessary to enter the valley of depression and desperation that trap our brothers and sisters in loneliness and fear. We are called to build bridges across the breaches that have separated us from family and friends, to forget old wounds and bend low enough to say, I am sorry.
To prepare the way of the Lord, we must reassess the mountains and rivers that create uncrossable borders between us as nations, parties, ideologies, genders, orientations, etc. By being willing to see the beauty of the other side, we can descend from heights of righteousness and let those mountains be made low.
Preparing in time of Pandemic is also teaching us to be careful, and to be vigilant of the presence of the COVID-19 virus and to take the necessary precautions to avoid contaminations. If only we had the same mindset in meeting our Lord which could happen anywhere and anytime!
The Pandemic always reminds that anyone of us, rich or poor, young or old can meet our Lord. Let us not postpone our loving and appreciation of people while we can.
We need therefore to join John the Baptist in the desert to allow us to fix our gaze on the stars, on beauty that is beyond our reach, where we can find room to expand and remember what we thirst for.