Day 38 – A Voice Calling
On: December 8, 2014   |   By: admin   |   Under: Blog   |   Comments: Comments are off

“As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.”‘” [Luke 3:4-6]

The ancient words are Isaiah’s. They are spoken of John the Baptist. But the subject is quite clear; Jesus. And the purpose is there for all people to see; God’s salvation.

I’ve sung “Every valley” from Handel’s Messiah; it’s a challenging piece, needing a very flexible voice to negotiate the twists and turns of the music and a controlled pair of lungs to make it through to the end of the long phrases. It’s a wonderfully visual piece of music as the voice cleverly climbs the hills and descends into the valleys and back up again. It’s huge fun to sing and exciting to listen to – will the tenor make it! (Check it out on YouTube if you don’t know it.)

But we mustn’t be misled. For, whilst the music dwells on the twists and turns – the crookedness of the landscape – Isaiah’s words call for the paths to be made straight, the valleys to be filled in, the hills to be smoothed off. It’s exactly what the Romans did as they built roads to travel around their empire. It’s what modern motorways do. The purpose? To get obstacles out of the way to enable easier access to the destination. I imagine you can see where I’m headed!

John’s role was to awaken the people to their sinfulness. God’s chosen people thought they were safe, but Old Testament prophet after prophet had pointed out that Israel’s ways were hateful to God. They needed to turn about and live lives of integrity to their calling.

John confronted them head on, they knew what he was on about and many responded.

A voice of one calling in the wilderness

Prayer:

Father God, opening people’s eyes to Your glorious perfection and their grubby sin must be the highest calling for Your people. Open my eyes to identity those around me with whom You would have me share the wonderful news of Jesus. Grant me the flexibility of mind and steadfastness of purpose to be “a voice of one calling in the wilderness”. Amen.

World Conquest

Veni, vidi, vici. “I came, I saw, I conquered”, boasted Julius Caesar to the Roman senate after he’d overrun yet another province. Swift and conclusive victory. Such is the arrogant repressive, militarism of the worldly empire builder.

Jesus came, He died, He conquered. Similar shape, but radically different process. Jesus came, not to take by force someone else’s territory, but to start the restoration of the Earth He had created. He didn’t kill to defeat a Kingdom; He Himself died for the whole World, and created a new Kingdom. Jesus did indeed conquer. But He conquered death and set people free. And the test of anything is whether it lasts. The Roman Empire crumbled and fell, as have all other empires before and since. The Kingdom of God remains to this day and will last forever.

Good news, or what! Worth sharing?

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