“Let’s hear it from Sky, with Earth joining in, and a huge round of applause from Sea. Let Wilderness turn cartwheels. Animals, come dance. Put every tree of the forest in the choir – an extravaganza before God as He comes, as He comes to set everything right on earth.” ~ Psalm 96:11-13, The Message

Blue and I were ambling along the country road that curls like a ribbon past our house. We followed its leading up the hill through a grove of trees that clasped their fingertips over us. Popcorn clouds drifted against shades of periwinkle blue; a meadowlark whistled a song of praise to his Maker.

And an oak tree, graced with age, stopped me in my tracks.

Blue jerked on his leash, anxious to investigate the rustling in the nearby underbrush, but I didn’t surrender to his impulse. I couldn’t, for I was mesmerized by the Master’s painting before me.

To my left, rooted against a rocky ledge, stood an oak tree set ablaze with crimson leaves. Their brilliance captured the sunlight streaming in from beyond the grove. As I stood still in this holy moment, I thought I heard the leaves trumpet, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord”. The crimson branches waved in the soft breeze, drawing me closer. Again, this time, a divine whisper, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”

My eyes opened to behold the forest crowned in jewels of orange and gold against a sapphire sky. Rubies of crimson dotted the landscape. The wind blew more briskly now, announcing its presence through the whooshing sound swirling about me. Whoosh. Hush. Whoosh. Hush.

“Hush, my child. Be still and know that I am God. Stand strong and know that I am coming to judge the earth with righteousness. Stand ablaze in my glory for all to see. Trumpet the sound, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord.’ And listen for my Holy Spirit swirling about you, sending a holy hush that My voice might be heard. Proclaim My love. Sing My praise. Testify that I AM the Lord, the One True God.”

Beloved, listen to the cry of His voice for the time is at hand. The fields are ripe unto harvest. We must cry out, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!”

Father, we praise You! We bow in worship at the mention of Your Name. Open our eyes to see a lost and hurting world. Anoint us with boldness to proclaim Your name to the nations, Your salvation to the lost. Be magnified Lord. You alone are worthy of our praise.