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“Mountains and valleys will have to be prepared” All Earth is Hopeful vs 3

There aren’t many mountains in our part of the world, unless you count the Loess Hills. But there are a surprising number of river valleys that cross the fields and pastures of Iowa. I once tried to count all the bridges I crossed on a Thanksgiving journey to see in-laws near Iowa City. I lost count at 50. We invest a staggering amount of money and expertise to make highways that hasten seamless journeys to our destinations. Even the smallest viaduct requires great preparation by engineers and builders. The highways we build today with ease would have seemed miraculous to biblical people. That’s why our advent hymn, ringing with the prophetic imagination of Isaiah, sees creation itself in need of miraculous rearranging to prepare for the coming Messiah—valleys will be filled and every mountain and hill be made low. When he comes, this One is worthy of the most intense adjustments to the contours of our world so that it shifts into harmony with his reign. Today ending racism in our society, slowing climate change, ensuring that all people may eat, and lifting up the poor might be the transformations that seem in need of a miracle in order to be accomplished. This makes them worthy Advent preparations for the promised Savior for us. We engage these things not to deserve our Lord’s arrival, but because we anticipate the changes he inaugurates in his kingdom.

Lord, show me how to prepare for the coming of your reign. Lead me to share in the tasks of transforming our world in harmony with your will. Amen.