You can see all the lectionary readings for the Second Sunday of Advent, Year C by clicking here. I have chosen to discuss the passage from the Gospel of Luke.
Today’s passage starts with establishing a time frame–the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar–and lists the rulers under Caesar and says that Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. Luke is carefully delineating where we are in history.
John the Baptist is beginning his ministry (though he’s not called that here–he’s called John, the son of Zechariah). He is living in the desert and receives a message from God, so he travels the area around the Jordan River to share God’s message. He calls on people to be baptized as a symbol of changing themselves and turning from sins so that their sins may be forgiven.
Then Luke quotes Isaiah:
“There is someone shouting in the desert:from Isaiah 20:3-5 and Luke 3:4-6
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
Make the road straight for him.
Every valley will be filled,
and every mountain and hill will be made flat.
Crooked roads will be made straight,
and rough roads will be made smooth.
Then everyone will see
how God will save his people!’”
Luke is specifically calling out this ancient prophecy and connecting it to the new prophet of John the Baptist. John is the one shouting in the desert and preparing a way for the Lord Jesus. This second week of Advent is also a time of preparation for us. We are preparing for the coming of Christ both in the form of the celebration of Christmas and preparing for the eventual Second Coming. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!