Not only is this a photo of my preparation to preach this Sunday morning, December 7, put the text from Mark’s Gospel is about John the Baptizer: “Prepare the way of The Lord, make his paths straight.” Of course, Advent is all about preparation, with Christmas bearing down on us big-time, but I wonder what preparations are helpful to get the message clearly that God really wanted to be with us so much that Jesus came in a way to experience the fullness of our lives. It is really mind-boggling when you think of how easy it would be to just operate the universe with those levers from heaven, the way the Deists imagined, rather than getting so close to the real struggles of human life. Every time I think about how hard it is to remember my humanity – being kind to people who are obnoxious, don’t deserve it, are so different from me that I just can’t relate to them – I remember that Jesus knows what that feels like. He might even be struggling to love me, as I am often so disrespectful of his love and care. Come, Lord Jesus, rewire my heart to love as lavishly as you have loved me.