Ups and downs.
Emptiness and dryness.
These words describe much of the landscape east of Jerusalem: full of twisting, dry valleys and rugged mountains.
These words can also describe many of our lives.
In today’s first reading (Isaiah 40:1-11), we hear the well-known prophecy (set gloriously to music by Handel): a prophecy for our world and for our lives.
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
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.