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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Scripture Reading: John 1:19–28
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’”
as the prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. (NRSV)

“Make straight the path of the Lord.” These are the words of John the Baptist, 2,000 years ago, testifying to the advent of Jesus and telling those who were listening that the Son of God has arrived and has come to take away the sins of the world—that there is a path that leads to life.

This message is good news to those of us who want to be done with our own sin-filled path. Yet with these words comes the relinquishing control of our steps. We have to admit that our path is not saving us—that our navel-gazing path is leading us nowhere.

Last month we celebrated the story of Jesus coming into our world. Now the question that presses into our new year is whether or not we really want the path of Jesus to cross into our personal sin-filled world? Do we want the path of Jesus to enter into our daily activities? Do we really want to hold up the way that we live to Jesus and ask him to look in? Are we willing to surrender where our feet currently tread? Especially when we know that he will ask us to die to ourselves.

The message “Make straight the path of the Lord” is an incredible story of how God entered our world, but in order for the story to germinate in our hearts we have to be willing to receive the daily path-changing call of Jesus.

Jesus, please intersect my life with your path. Open my eyes to see your ways and my ears to hear your words. Save me from myself. Amen.

Written by Daniel Holladay, Senior High Youth Coordinator

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