Clear the Way for the Noise
Clear the way, make haste, and prepare, for in just 3 short weeks Christmas will be here! This has clearly been the message this week. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty sure that my email inbox just about exploded in the last week with all the noise about Black Friday and Cyber Monday that turned into Cyber Week. Add to that the increased traffic on the roadways as shoppers make their way to the retailers and the noise becomes deafening.
I’ve spent countless time deleting the noise from my inbox and searching out new routes to get to my destinations. But no matter the noise and my attempts to suppress it, the fact is that Christmas is coming whether we’re prepared or not. Perhaps a better option is to get on board and clear the way before we are run over with a “to-do” list that is out of control.
The preparation of Christmas for many people focuses on the lights, gifts, cards, and parties of good cheer. But the church reminds us to prepare ourselves spiritually. We are quickly heading to the 2nd Sunday in Advent which is a time of preparation. As we look to scriptures there is no better demonstration of preparing for Christ than viewing the life of John the Baptist. He is the Herald of a new way of life as he sets off to clear the way by stirring up the noise that broke the silence.
The Silence Before the Noise
As Christmas preparations move into full swing, silence seems impossible to imagine. In our world today the noise is often overwhelming with televisions, radios, and the internet constantly blaring. But in the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments, God was silent. Malachi is the last prophet heard from and he followed a long line of prophets that go back hundreds of years. There was not a single divine spokesperson that appeared before the nations since, and those who claimed to be a prophet were proven to be imposters. So, for more than 400 years the heavens appear closed and nothing was heard from God, just silence.
Sometimes though silence is necessary for God to get His message across. In the time period between the Old Testament and the New, there were years of war and strife, faulty heroes and empty hopes. But all were necessary as God clears the way and sets the stage to put things in place for our salvation. During this time of what appeared to be heaven’s silence, He was preparing for the final era of salvation while building a new one filled with the Good News for all people everywhere. The silence broke one ordinary night in the tiny village of Bethlehem when the divine came to live among us. It is through His birth and the first cries of Christ, God’s voice sounded once again in the land.
Clear the Way and Prepare for Christ
John the Baptist’s story of clearing and preparing the way for Christ is told in all 4 Gospels. His coming was predicted in the Old Testament books of Isaiah and Malachi. (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 4:5) Some scholars even consider him one of the last Old Testament prophets as he functions as the announcer of the coming of the new and final King. God designed John the Baptist for the specific purpose of clearing the way and preparing the people for the arrival of the Savior.
The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for Him!’”Matthew 3:3 (NLT)
The life that John the Baptist led is a good example of how God prepares each of us for a purpose and that we can trust fully for Him to guide us in that purpose. We all can clear the way for God to move into our lives and the lives of others by remembering and announcing that Christ is coming again. Telling others how Christ, through His forgiveness, gives meaning to life on earth.
Clearing the way for repentance is good news to those who listen and seek the healing forgiveness of God’s love. We can show others the Good News of what Christ can give to the lives of everyone on earth by demonstrating through the way we live and conduct ourselves. It is important that the way is cleared and prepared for us to see and understand exactly who He is and what He represents.
Let Others See Christ in Us
As we prepare and make our own way towards the celebration of Christmas let us remember to help those around us welcome Jesus into their lives too, by demonstrating a life that depicts the Christ in us. We should always be prepared to see God work and never discount what God can do for those who are faithful to Him. The love of Christ we demonstrate in our daily walk may be the only Jesus that others see.
Challenge yourself to clear the way to receive Christ into your life by clearing away all the obstacles that get in the way during this busy season. Find your conviction through your trust and belief in God to see His love and forgiveness for all people. Allow your motivation to stem from helping others clear their own paths to see Christ through the way you live. And lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that Christ is our purpose and gives full meaning to life on earth so let us all clear the way to Him.
Love in Christ,
What will you and I give for Christmas this year? Let us in our lives give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings and following in His footsteps.Thomas S. Monson
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do your Christmas preparations include the steps to clear the way for the meaning of Christ to be viewed in your life? Have you thought about how the repentance that the teachings of John the Baptist are the Good News for all of us? Share your thoughts on how you clear the way in your Christmas preparations for Christ to sit at your table.