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“Preparing the Way”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, May 15, 2022 comes to us from Kathy Bunse of Missouri

1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' " 4 John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:1-12 NIV

 

“Preparing the Way”

I like to hike, so I volunteered to help clear a new path at a local nature area. Walking to our work area wasn’t easy. We crossed a couple of streams, inched down steep inclines, and trudged up hills. Carrying sharp tools made the journey even more difficult. Thankfully, our project leader had prepared for our arrival by tying ropes to sturdy trees that enabled us to descend and climb slippery slopes. After several hours of cutting back limbs and removing small saplings, we reached the top of a hill and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the lake. Because of our work, future hikers will enjoy the same view, then continue on down the completed trail.


As I worked, the words, “Prepare the way for the Lord,” came to mind. I thought about how John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry and how Jesus prepared the disciples to spread the gospel. Each generation of Christians paves the way for the next. Scripture, prayer, and the support of fellow Christians guide us on our spiritual journey. With these tools, we are well prepared not only to tell people we meet about Jesus but to enable them to see Jesus through the way we live.

 

Friends –

I remember reading a saying that reminded me that if the story of our faith gets lost for one entire generation, it will be lost forever. Also, a quote attributed to St. Francis reminds to “Preach the Gospel, only us words when necessary.” All of that is to say, that it is crucial to witness to God in our lives, especially through our actions and behavior in our world.

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for the faithful Christians who have spread the gospel through the years. Guide us as we prepare the way for new believers. Amen.

--Kathy Bunce


Prayer Focus:

Volunteers.


Thought for the Day:

How will I prepare to share Christ with others today?

 

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Isaiah 4:3 (NIV)


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