Imagine it- the prophet Isaiah crying out these words…
“A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let th erough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'”
It’s intense, but… we’re used to that aren’t we. We’re used to extreme language. We’re used to shock and awe advertising campaigns, slogans, politics. Have we grown used to the Gospel?
Clear a way for the Lord?
What does that mean to you?
John the baptizer was the one who would cry out before Christ walked Israel’s streets and deserts. John loved the day of Lord so much that he leaped in his own mother’s womb at the mere presence of Christ, still in Mary’s womb. He declared himself unworthy to even untie our Lord’s sandals.
John bowed low.
This prostitute Mary, she bowed low too. She bought such expensive perfume, perhaps spent all she had to anoint the feet of our Lord. She cried and washed his feet with her own tears, tears of repentance.
Both her and John caused great stir; criticized and chastised.
Both gave their all to bow low before their Lord and master.
Mary didn’t hear teachings of grace and salvation, nor justification by faith alone. John erupted with holy rage at fallen Israel, at a people who had never made known to the earth the truly amazing thing that they had in knowing that God Himself had reached out and found them.
They explode in the face of conformity. The relevant stood by in disgust at the whore at Christ’s feet. The accepted leaders of Israel mocked John, and were jealous of this veritable wild man in the desert. And Christ, he slapped the powers in the face getting on the ground and washing the filthy feet of fisherman and sinners.
Mary and John, as well as others, were a peculiar people.
I’m supposed to be this too. I’m supposed to stick out like a sore thumb. I’m supposed to care what God thinks, about everything.
I’m His, and I am not fit to tie the thong of His sandals. I’m not worthy to let Him wash my feet.
Am I too cool to declare what Christ has done for me?
Are we too relevant to get on our knees and wash His feet?
Am I too concerned with the praise of men, relatives and friends to revere my God?
I do not want to live an unquestioned life, for I have been touched, washed, changed, delivered and lifted up by the creator of the universe. I know God. He speaks to me daily. He feeds me with His living Word.
I am doing a disservice to both myself and all around me if I do not declare the Gospel of Christ. He is Lord! He has risen! He is redeeming His own! And He is so very good!
And here’s where I’d like to go from there- my life is truly not my own. May this not be an old cliche, but the truth, it’s not mine, it’s His to live. If I am part of His body, then I no longer get to guide myself around… it’s His to do. I don’t get to turn this off, like a light switch. It’s all the time, every day, I’m His, and not my own. These hands are His. This tongue is His.
Does He complain like I do? Does He treat the weak like I do? Does He try to appease the arrogant and opinionated like I do? Does He spend and treat the world as disposable like I do?
God, take control.
Help me have the boldness of John and Mary. Show me how to step out, in boldness, and display my gratitude for even being allowed to know You.
Help me not be too relevant to be truly reverent.
You deserve my all.