'Prepare the Way of the Lord'
By Yongyeun Lee
“A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3).
When I was in Korea a long time ago, I visited my mother’s hometown during Korean Thanksgiving. Her hometown is Byungjeom near Suwon City. It was an ordinary rural village with peaceful rice fields spread out. However, the small drive that I visited had been replaced with a new highway; a new bridge longer than one hundred yards was built on the small stream that flowed along the side of the road.
I was so surprised and amazed to see the sudden change of the town. So, I asked my mother, “Mother, why has it changed so much here? It didn’t have a highway and a big bridge before.” My mother replied, “It’s the first lady; Lee Soon-Ja’s home is over that hill.” A college student at that time, I opened my mouth and shouted, “You have a lot of power!”
Upon hearing that the first lady would visit their hometown, the community and residents widened the narrow road, paved the bumpy road, and replaced the small bridge with a large bridge to welcome the new president and the first lady. It used to be an ordinary rural village that no one knew, but it was proud to be a city that produced the first lady. If a king or president visits their village, the people will fix the curved roads, trim the uneven roads and bridges.
At Christmas time, we welcome the king of peace who comes to save the whole world. How should we prepare? If there is a bend in our hearts, we should spread that bend out beautifully. If there are bumpy stones in our hearts, we have to dig them out. If we can’t go because we have a deep valley in our hearts, we have to build a bridge. We must prepare for our Lord to come to us comfortably.
To prepare for the Baby Jesus, our church was decorated with a Christmas tree. We participated in blood drive to share Christ’s love with patients who needed blood. On the second Saturday of December, Santa Claus comes to our church, and we invite our family and friends to have breakfast together. On the second Sunday of December, the choir and racial justice team visit church members who are in the hospital or sick at home and sing Christmas carols to convey the coming of Baby Jesus. The Christmas pageant celebrating the birth of Jesus will be on the third Sunday of December, and the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is on December 24. Let’s come out and celebrate the birth of Jesus and worship Baby Jesus.
Rev. Dr. Yongyeun Lee is the pastor of Prospect United Methodist Church in Bristol, Connecticut.