Monday, December 16, 2013

The Advent Prophet

The prophet Isaiah suggests that the Savior is much more “earthy” than one would ever imagine. In chapter 40, the prophet lays out the Messiah’s real essence — a combination of sights, sounds and scents that will change the world. Here are a few of the aromatic ingredients:

Freshly turned earth. Anyone who’s been involved in a construction project knows that when bulldozers and backhoes show up on site things will begin to change in a hurry. Excavation breaks up the hard ground, turning the old landscape into something new and different. New construction means new possibilities and new beginnings.

Isaiah announces that the Messiah will usher in such a project — that the old, hardened crust of sin and guilt will be broken up in preparation for his arrival. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.”