As we celebrate Advent, a time of waiting expectantly for Jesus, it might dawn on us that he is already here. In his name many of his followers, perhaps most in one way or the other, are refusing to see him in folks who make them uncomfortable, whose opinions differ, whose lifestyles are unacceptable. Can anyone really claim their viewpoint on any topic is the only one that can prepare the way of the Lord as the Lord wants it prepared? Can anyone claim that only they speak the correct words and everybody else has to accept them totally or else? Can anyone who claims to speak and act in the name of Jesus inflict threats and punishments never even remotely found in the Jesus of the Gospels? Can anyone judge that just because someone wears funny clothes and accessories they are automatically wrong and do not deserve to be listened to? Any of us If we claim to be responding to the Spirit have to look at our own life, and hear John’s words speaking to us right here and now on a very personal and intimate level. What is each of us being called to do to prepare the way of the Lord in our own life? What valleys do we have to fill and what mountains do we have to smooth in our own life, not in somebody else’s? What opportunities are we passing up? For each of us this has to be a prayerful journey, not an easy self-righteous stroll.