Be Prepared

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”   Mark 1

I am grateful for the years I spent in the Boy Scouts – it shaped my life in important ways. One of the lasting influences I feel to this day is their motto, “Be prepared.”  I have found it a useful principle of life.

It may seem odd that God calls us to “prepare” the way for the Lord. In Jesus’ day it referred to the tasks to be accomplished when a king or other important person was coming to visit. A fresh coat of paint on the outside, a thorough cleaning inside. New clothes or at least freshly laundered. Supplies laid in for entertainment.

But neither Isaiah nor Mark have this in mind – they are going for the heart. They understand how easily people can be distracted, confused and lulled to sleep when it comes to spiritual things. Their job is to warn us to open our eyes, be alert to the times, so we won’t miss something of the greatest importance.

It’s the coming of the Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus! Over time the ordinary and familiar become the enemies of the awe-ful and significant. The daily grind of the routine can drown out the sound of the approaching King.  So take some time to listen – really listen. Listen in silence before the Holy Spirit as you pray. Listen as you read the Word of God. Listen as you spend some moments in nature. God will reveal His approach. And as you listen you will be prepared to welcome Him – your Savior and Lord. Are you ready?

Amen, let it be.

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