Yet the second Sunday of Advent's readings declare, "Prepare the way of the Lord," the herald's announcement to God's people. The severe desert landscape is transformed, a metaphor for the spiritual change that God can bring. The age of trial is over; good news is coming.
Isaiah's words are repeated in the opening of Mark's gospel, using the prophet's words to point to John the Baptizer. He, too, is out in the lonely wilderness precincts, deliberately far from the religious establishment. His mission is to minister to God's people, to help them "get right" - reconciled with the Lord who is coming to bring the reign of the Kingdom.
So, are we preparing for the right thing? Will our spirits be ready for the good news, or just thankful the hubbub of this season is over? Check out more of this with the sermon video below, and help yourself to the downloads below the video panel.