Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
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;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
- Luke 3:4-6
Let me talk to you about Route 9. I travelled between Keene and Stoddard almost every day last summer and the construction near Sullivan was endless. I hear that even after an endless summer of ripping up the road and putting it back together again, the project is not complete, and they will still be working on it for two more summers! It’s not all that clear to me what these changes are all about, but I think it has something to do with improving the sight lines - making a crooked road a bit straighter.
It’s been a HUGE undertaking using many large machines and who know how many yards of boulders and gravel and topsoil and grass seed and drainage pipes and asphalt. And after all that, the road is ever so slightly straighter. This tells me that the prophecy of Isaiah that John the Baptist is quoting out in the wilderness is no small thing. Change is hard - even when it’s just a short stretch of road. It’s even harder when you’re talking about making deeper changes in yourself, in your culture, in our world.
But that is what Advent is proclaiming - that transformation is on its way. And transformation is not easy. It can cause some inconvenience and some pain. It can often be scary or require great patience. But although it can be a struggle, we are called to both prepare and be prepared for the transformation that is always ahead.
Good thing we have one another as we journey down the crooked and rough roads of life!