Louise Gevers 

A voice cries out, "Prepare in the wilderness a road for the Lord! Clear the way in the desert for our God!” Isaiah 40:3 GNT
Excitement mounted. Each new photo we received from our daughter overseas showing each new acquisition highlighted the steady progress in their preparation for their baby’s arrival. Anticipation and love fuelled their careful preparations, and nothing was too much trouble to ensure that everything would be ready. From the other side of the world we watched and waited too, preparing as best we could; praying, knitting and making plans.
The build-up to an event is an exciting time of anticipation. We love co-ordinating and organising everything in readiness, leaving nothing to chance and no stone unturned, to ensure the best experience possible. God led the way in this, also making it clear through Isaiah that obstacles and dryness had to be removed from people’s hearts to make way for repentance as fitting preparation for the salvation Jesus would bring.
We didn’t know how the arrival of a baby into our family would impact us, but two years later we know that the birth of that tiny baby has been life-changing, starting a new chapter in our family and more than gratifying the effort put into the preparations.
Yet our experience pales in the light of God’s plan and preparation for the coming of His Son to earth, affecting all mankind. Wouldn’t we be foolish to ignore God’s complex preparations for the birth of His Son, or to miss out on the rich anticipation and significance of the most important event in history?
Prophecy about Jesus was first spoken of in Genesis, directly after the Fall, but frequent references to Him and His coming, throughout the Old Testament, were made by the prophets Micah, Isaiah, Zechariah, Moses, Malachi, Jeremiah and the Psalmists, and are fulfilled in the New.
We feel the thrill of Advent as again we pore over these prophecies, each one painting part of the rich picture of God’s love entering the world as a tiny baby, and we anticipate and experience the greatness of His immanence. We celebrate Christmas because Christ has fulfilled these prophecies.
In Advent let’s wisely ponder God’s truth that He came to save the world and rejoice in His love; let’s feed our spirits as we watch and wait to celebrate with “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!”
Prayer: Father, help us to clear our hearts of any obstacles or indifference this Advent to prepare well to accept and celebrate the truth and joy of Christmas. Amen.