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Imagining the Lectionary:
Filled, low, straight and smooth - the civil engineering of grace (Advent 2C)

Reflection accompanying image “Prepare the way of the Lord

"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" (Luke 3:5)
This familiar sentence trips off our tongues in Advent with almost glib ease. The truth of what John the Baptist claims for himself and his followers, however, is anything but easy or glib. The biblical metaphors from Isaiah chapter 40 which frame his ministry and the work of his own movement rightly imply that the scale of the task is epic and awesome. God's incarnational reshaping of the entire human landscape is truly astonishing in its ambition and scope.  At the outset John lays out what is involved in preparing the way for the One who is to come. He is very clear regarding the civil engineering of grace required in order to be ready for Jesus. 


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