In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
Matthew 3 : 1 – 3
John the Baptist is the first prophet since Malachi, and he comes out proclaiming a message of repentance. To repent is to turn, to change directions. As I have been figuring out my way around Granton, and parts of Edinburgh, including buses, there has been a lot of turning and changing directions. I started going one way, thinking I was going the right way, only to look down at my phone to realise I was going the wrong way. So, I would turn and follow the blue line going the right way.
There have probably been times in each of our lives when we thought we were going the right way. We thought we were on the right path, only to realise that the path we were on was not leading us where we wanted and/or needed to go.
When we prepare the way, when we allow Christ to come into our lives, we take away the barriers. We stop trying to turn down the wrong paths, but instead we seek out and allow ourselves to be guided by God’s path for each of us. This might mean being willing to look down at our maps and see that we are on the wrong path, and turn and follow the right way.
Prayer: Loving God, we give you thanks that you never abandon, even when we want to try to go our own ways. We are thankful that you always call us back, and welcome us with open arms. Help us to take the time to reflect on our paths, and turn back towards you when we stray off the path. Amen.
Action: Take time to notice how your decisions are made? If you have made a wrong decision, do you turn back, or do you keep going down that path? Ask yourself what is guiding your decision making.