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Thursday, December 06, 2018

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This Advent, God calls us to be voices crying in the wilderness. God calls us to prepare the way of the Lord. God calls us to announce the Messiah's coming.

When the Messiah comes, valleys are filled. Mountains and hills are made low. These reversals echo Mary's song (1:46-55), in which the powerful are brought down, and the lowly are lifted up. They anticipate the Sermon on the Plain (6:20-26), according to which those who are hungry now will be filled, and those who weep now will laugh.

Most importantly, when the Messiah comes, "all flesh shall see the salvation of God." The Messiah will open our eyes so that we will see God in our midst. We will see the invisible in the visible. Through Jesus, we will see the image of God in one another's faces. And when that happens, the crooked are made straight and rough ways made smooth.

Dear God, our lives and our world need the advent of your Messiah. Give us eyes to see and voices to proclaim the salvation you promise amid everything going on in our lives. Amen.

Lois Malcolm, '89
Professor of Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.

Luke 3:1-6 (NRSV)

1 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,
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
4 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.
5 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;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' "

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.