is for Voice.
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘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 become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” -Luke 3:4-6
ACTIVITY: Hum it. Each person think of a favorite Christmas song. Take turns humming the song while the rest of the family tries to identify the song.
Christmas is a time of raising one’s voice in celebration. We often greet a stranger with a jolly, “Merry Christmas!” We lift our voice in song to sing our favorite hymns and carols of the season. According to the movie Elf, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” Loud voices are the norm at Christmas. In today’s reading we read of John the Baptist who the Prophet Isaiah called, “The Voice.” John was used by God to prepare the way for Jesus. John was Jesus’ herald.
A herald is a person whose job it is to prepare the way. If a king is coming into town, the herald goes ahead to make preparations. He spreads the news that the king is coming. The towns people might decorate, make a special meal, or simply make plans to attend the king’s appearance. The herald would make sure that the king has an appropriate ride, and that the road into town is ready. If something is in the way, the herald might call out, “Make way!”
John spent His time teaching about God and telling people that Jesus, the promised one, was coming. “Straighten up!” he would yell, get ready for the king.
Advent is the time of getting ready for the King. And we are called to be heralds for Jesus as well. So the questions has be be asked, are we using our voices for God? Are we using our voice to share the love of God with our family, or are we yelling at our siblings? Are we sharing peace with our neighbors, or do we pretend not to hear them when they say hello? Are we encouraging our community with songs about the King, or would we rather only sing about Rudolph?
John’s voice reminds us that we are not ready or prepared to meet the perfect King. And no matter how much we “straighten up,” we will never be good enough to deserve God’s love. But that is exactly why Jesus is coming, because we need His help. And it is Jesus’ voice that we need to hear. The voice of the One who forgives sinners. The voice of the One who promises us salvation. The voice who will raise all of the dead on the last day (Jn 5:25). Jesus, the voice of God, calls you His beloved child, and comes as our King to save us.