Study: Reflect on key relationships in your life. Are there any obstacles that are keeping you from fully connecting with others?
Pray: Invite the Lord to help you strengthen your spiritual life today. Ask for guidance and wisdom to see clearly the path before you.
Serve: How can you help someone in your life right now? How can your life bring support and encouragement to another in need?
Have you ever watched the construction of a new road? The big kid in me loves watching the earth movers and dump trucks, as graders and front loaders transform the landscape. The study, planning, design, coordination, and work are immense – and the heavier the traffic the greater the effort to insure that the road will be able to bear the load.
While there are many key issues that surface in the construction of a road, I would like to point out two elements:
- What are the obstacles that need to be cleared away?
- What materials need to be added for strength?
Obstacles can be unwanted elevation, swamps, trees, or any objects that are in the way. They sometimes require enormous effort to remove them in order to create a smooth, level surface. The work here is all about taking something away so that the road will be easy to use.
Often, however, there is a significant amount of material that needs to be added – to improve foundation, provide drainage or perhaps fill in gaps. Removing the obstacle is not sufficient; material and supplies must be added to make the road strong and durable, so it can be used safely for a long time.
In the Gospel today John the Baptist quotes Isaiah to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Luke 3:4-6
This is serious work…for the human heart. Heavy equipment and intense work are required to transform the landscape of our souls – preparing the highway that allows us to receive Jesus Christ. And like above we have to ask: What obstacles need to be removed? What material needs to be added?
Is there something keeping us from the Lord and one another? Time to get rid of it! Does a relationship require attention and support to strengthen it? Time to get to work!
May the words of John inspire us today, removing obstacles and strengthening our souls, so that the Lord will find us ready and prepared to journey with him today.