Date: October 1, 2014
Scripture: Matthew 3:1-12
Verse: He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said: The voice of one shouting in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight.” (Matthew 3:3)
I don’t think I remember what Interstate 25 looks like without all the construction. They have been widening it all around us for over a year, and the cones, barriers, and machines have become part of the normal landscape. Thankfully, they are starting to pave sections of it, and we are beginning to see what this is going to be like when it is completed. The improvements should keep traffic moving much better during rush hour. In the meantime, we have learned how inconvenient it is to travel down roads with torn up pavement, bumps, and grooves. It is not a lot of fun.
It is interesting the way Matthew uses the words of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to describe John the Baptist’s role in the life of Jesus in today’s passage. Isaiah was pointing toward a day coming soon when God would come to his people living in exile in Babylon and lead them back to Jerusalem, the city of God. Matthew is telling us that Jesus is God’s representative come to us similarly to lead us from our everyday lives into God’s Kingdom. Jesus has come to set us free. The “way” Isaiah talks about, and Matthew echoes, is one by which God meets us where we are, then leads us to where we belong.
Paved roads are such a blessing to us. They make travel so much better. I imagine if Isaiah would have known about modern technology, he would have talked about God coming down a freshly paved interstate after all the construction. We can smooth out the road between us and God by sticking close to him every day. We do that when we invite him into our workplace, our classes, our shopping, our conversations, our families, and whatever else we find ourselves doing. When we are conscious of his presence, we feel him drawing near on a newly paved road.
Prayer: Come to me, O God, and lead me in your way. Amen.
Action: Take note of the construction zones you come across. What is the goal? How are they a metaphor for your relationship with God?
Respond: What improvements have you seen that have made a real difference? For example, I really like the self-check lanes they added to Walmart recently.
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