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The Second Sunday of Advent

By December 6, 2015 No Comments

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 be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

by Beth Carroll

I cannot hide the gun of an angry man before he shoots at his hate and pain.
I cannot cover the mouth of an angry man before he shouts over injustices in our country, like he combs over the bald spot on his head.
I cannot soften the heart of an angry man who scoffs at the beaten and robbed refugee left by the side of the road.
I cannot fill a valley and I cannot smooth what is rough.

I only possess half a mustard seed.

But I have a voice. A solitary, irritating, piercing, lonely, agonizing cry that howls, “How long, O Lord, will we watch without caring?”
It begs, “How long, O Lord, will we desire comfort before justice?”
It wails, “How long, O Lord will we stand on those you told us to lift up?”
It screeches, “How long, O Lord, will you let us speak your words as lies, instead of living them as truth?”
For the wilderness is full of shadows and selfishness. Its trees look strangely like us.

Prepare the way of the Lord, make our hearts straight.

About Beth Carroll: If sarcasm were a spiritual gift, then I surely would be on the Christian bookstore speaking circuit right now. But because it is not, I am busy finishing up my theological training at Western Theological Seminary, while also working as Director of Youth Ministry at Hope Church in Holland, Michigan. I have two beautiful, intelligent, and equally sarcastic teen aged kids, who bring me much joy, as well as fodder for Facebook status updates. I also enjoy reading, running very slowly, and coming up with creative answers to people who ask about my naturally curly hair. Ask me about it some time; I dare you.

Beth Carroll

Rev. Beth Carroll is the Senior Pastor of Oakland City Church in Oakland, California. She is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary and Hope College, both in Holland, Michigan.  She is married to Richard Perez, who is a theatre artist, and she has three kids - Josiah, Natalie, and a cat named Kate Spade.

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