Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent Devotion - Dec. 4

Mark 1:1-4;
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God’s Son, 2 happened just as it was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah:
Look, I am sending my messenger before you.
He will prepare your way,
3 a voice shouting in the wilderness:
        “Prepare the way for the Lord;
        make his paths straight.”[a]
4 John was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins.

I cannot read this passage without thinking about linemen.  If you are not a football fan then this devotion will be not be too inspiring but for those who do that is the way I connect with John the Baptist.  Linemen do very dirty, tiring, gritty work on the football field.  Each down they move from a three point stance to go toe to toe with another mass of humanity on the other side of the line of scrimmage.  Their job is difficult and multi-layered.  They are to protect the quarterback in every down but on certain plays they do other things. For running downs they attempt to push defenders out of the way to create holes the running back can run through.  On passing plays they create a pocket of protection for the quarterback to nestle in until a receiver is open.  On screen plays they let the first layer of defense slide past and then run up field to block and protect the running back. 

In all that they do they usually don’t get much credit.  Many people are focused on the running back or quarterback or receivers who do the flashy stuff.  A lineman’s job is necessary but in the background, preparing the way.

John the Baptist wasn’t flashy either and was doing the gritty and tiring work of calling people to repent of their sins.  It is work that is very difficult but he was setting the stage for the one to come.  If it wasn't for the work John did in the wilderness the world would not have been ready for the 30 year old Babe in the Manger that was about to come onto the scene.  John the Baptist paved the way and we are blessed he did.

Who are the people who paved the way for you and your faith?

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