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Mountains and Valleys

I have to admit that I am not much of a traveler. I do love a good adventure and experiencing new things, but it is the process of getting there that trips me up.

Put me in a car – particularly on the passenger side, and I am happy. It’s boarding one of those big jets and taking off into the skies that gets my pulse racing and my prayers flowing.

Despite my flight anxiety, my husband and I decided this was the year to take a big trip. There are many places on our travel bucket list that we are longing to see, so this past summer we decided to check one off of our list.

Northern California with its beautiful coastline and enchanting wineries was one of the places we wanted to experience. We made plans to travel there with some good friends and headed out on our adventure.

Even with my flight fear, I tend to enjoy looking out the window at the landscape below. This being my first flight across the country, I was excited to catch a glimpse of the Rocky Mountains and the desert all in one flight. They did not disappoint. There were snow-capped mountains out my window one hour and the next hour the flat sandy desert appeared. It was beautiful to see these formations from above.

I am reflecting on the flights we took to and from California as we arrive on this second Sunday of Advent. It was the first time that I experienced deserts, valleys, and mountains all within a period of a few short hours.

Isaiah 40:3-5 says, “A voice cries out: ‘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. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together…’”(Isaiah 40:3-5)

Advent arrives and says to us, here is your God! Wake up and see that God has come to you. God has come to make the rough places smooth, to reveal the glory of God, to feed the flocks, to carry the lambs, to lead the sheep, and to offer comfort for our weary souls.

Then the instructions come; to climb to the highest mountain and proclaim this good news - to do as the old song says, “Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills, and everywhere.” We are to declare that despite our failures and shortcomings, God has bent down to hold us and bring us comfort.

What is your Advent proclamation? And what mountains will you climb to proclaim it?


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