Mondays with Mark
Mark 1.2-4a – It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” — “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
And so John came…
Make straight paths for the Lord. Originally John was given the responsibility of preparing the way for Jesus. But I think today the need for a straight path to Jesus is still needed.
Before I go jumping on other people for making the way difficult I’d have to be honest and say that for a large part of my life I have made that road anything but straight. For a lot of it, it was mostly I think a lack of knowing and being stupid and for another where I really had a great opportunity I was more concerned with my own fun to care. Making a straight path was the last thing on my mind.
Today though I am concerned with making straight paths to Jesus. Don’t get me wrong I still screw it up. Ask my wife… I can be a real jerk sometimes (ok a lot of the time). BUT I don’t want anything to get in the way. But it seems that a lot of the time instead of Jesus paths are being made to, it is instead to a “church” building. Just listen if you walk in those circles… what do we ask? Do you go to church? I’m a Christian, I go to such and such church. Is that it… Is it our goal to make straight path to a building? We have messed this up I think. And then it happens so quickly… they didn’t come, where were they and we start to think, oh they weren’t here, read in this building, something must be wrong.
And that completely frustrates me. I have seen it more clearly in the past two years… after being involved in a church plant and because of the reading I have done and the places I have visited and learned about. I want a persons attendance at a particular building at a particular time not be the measure of the straight path we made… nor the destination.
Making straight paths to Jesus is, I believe, something that every person can do… how? I believe it is an actual living out of love and care for your neighbors. I don’t believe it has to be a fast process and to be honest I think a fast pressure driven conversion actually does more harm… with out lasting effect. Love your neighbor honestly, with purity of heart and an honest grasp of your own short comings and I believe that over time the groundwork is laid, the straight paths are made.
A life based on Matthew 5-7 I believe is the life that the early church lived and I believe it is the way that the church grew so rapidly in some instances.
Pray for your neighbors
Love your neighbors genuinely (probably should learn their names first)
And when the questions come… point them down the straight path you’ve been building to Jesus.
There is a voice calling… will we be able to look back and say… And so John (substitute your name) came…