God's way is the highway
Sunday, December 10, 2000
As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
A voice of one calling in the desert,
"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 mankind will see God's salvation."
At the beginning of the musical Godspell, the scree of a conch shell splits the air and is followed immediately by a single singer crying, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord!" The music swells and one disciple after another joins him. They weave through the streets rejoicing, singing at the top of their lungs, laughing and dancing, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."
Whatever awful agony, disappointment and death Jesus might encounter during his 33 years on earth, the place he is headed (and taking us with him) is as good as it gets. The contradictions and conflicts inherent in the world's makeup as we know it are erased. The rough is smoothed, the highs and lows are evened out. "The wolf will live with the lamb...the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11).
Beginning with man's turn away from Him described in Genesis 3, God followed a principle of restoration to bring man back to Him. Jesus' life and death and resurrection are the centerpiece of that plan. But they are not the end of it. The end of God's "ultimate intention," as one author put it, is to bring us back to Him and remake us once again in His image. And that's not all: the rest of the world - animals, plants, even the laws of physics - will follow: "the creation waits in eager expectation...to be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God" (Romans 8).
As I live my life every day and try to find a way through the current maze of temptations, as I watch this baby born in Bethlehem, as I wonder, as I wander... God's plan continues to unfold. No doubt it is unfolding as it should. Rejoice! Prepare ye the way of the Lord.
Open my eyes, Lord, that I can see something of the world you inhabit. Let your glory shine, Jesus, let the light of your being pierce the night.