At Advent, a Voice and a Light

Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
the rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 40:4-5

Advent is my favorite time of the year. Lent is the opportunity to reflect on areas of our personal and spiritual life we can change and improve, but Advent is a time of great light in darkness, great anticipation in small things, and being enveloped in joy as Our Lord is born, in humble surroundings.

Isaiah is the storyteller, our guide to light, eternal light, our light of love, hope, and joy. Yes. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. The light has shone upon them. We cannot fully comprehend the beauty that awaits us when we celebrates that birth in Bethlehem, but Our Lord is patient, maybe not too pleased at times, but still the potter, as we are molded in His vision for our eternal life.

What continues to speak to me is that the message of hope and love is not only for the important, the influential, the one that “matter”. No, the Lord speaks to we who are simply living our faith every day the best we are able. We know sadness, we know personal longing, we know the darkness of seeking an answer from God without understanding what we really seek. And, we know we need to listen for the “tiny whisper”, the voice of God, speaking through the prophets, and from John, who exhorts all who will listen that he is only a messenger; that the One to come is above all others, and who be in our midst.

On the Second Sunday, perhaps the best act we can perform is to listen to those among us. When we least expect it, our answer will present itself.

We must be watchful.

We must be ready.

Joy awaits.

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Michael Throop

Dr. Michael Throop spent nearly 40 years on air in radio and television, with a majority of that time spent in broadcast journalism. He began his teaching career in Spring, 2007, as a lecturer in the University of Kansas School of Journalism. Michael joined Benedictine College in Fall, 2007, as an adjunct in the Journalism and Mass Communications Department, and was promoted to Assistant Professor in Fall 2019. He works with students in all levels, teaching Media and Society as an introductory and General Education initiative, as well as creating departmental courses exploring the emergence of social media and its impact on journalism, nonprofit communications, and the greater society