Scripture: Matthew 3: 1-6
I am listening to Godspell and the ram’s horn, the shofar, is being blown.
It is visceral, primal, drawing . . .
And I hear. And listen. And it awakens my soul.
This ancient sound could be a battle cry, a warning, a call to worship.
But it was also used to announce the coming or the crowning of a King.
And we have a King coming!
“Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting,
‘Make a road for the Lord through the wilderness;
make him a straight, smooth road through the desert.
Fill the valleys; level the hills; straighten out the crooked paths, and smooth off the rough spots in the road.
The glory of the Lord will be seen by all mankind together.’
The Lord has spoken. It shall be.” (Isaiah 40:3-5 The Living Bible)
Our King is coming. Get ready. GET READY NOW!
Open your hearts and ready your lives.
Straighten any crooked ways.
Smooth out the rough spots.
For He is almost here! (adapted from Isaiah 40:3-5)
And the shofar blows.
And a voice cries out,
“Prepare ye the Way of the Lord!”
again - and again – and again. (Godspell: Stephen Schwartz)
And the shofar blows another time.
Are you ready? Hurry!
Again there’s the sound of the shofar. And now I hear singing, deep and commanding:
“Let all mortal flesh keep silence
and with fear and trembling stand . . .
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary . . . “ (from the Liturgy of St James, 4th century,
paraphrased by Gerard Moultrie)
King of kings . . . He comes to us.
A helpless babe . . . He comes to us.
And – miracle of miracles! - He bids us to come to Him!
Even if we’re not quite ready.
Even if we’re still not very straight or smooth.
Even if we are a bit scruffy around the edges.
We can come.
And so we do!
And the shofar blows a final blast – loud and long.
Thank you, Lord, for coming to us once as a baby long ago and then coming again and again to us as we open ourselves to you and let your grace and power into our lives.
-- Lyn Fitz