To Repent Is To Prepare

John is the messenger sent to prepare
the Lord’s way. What does it mean
to prepare the way of Jesus?

John’s voice cries out. He cries out
in the wilderness—the dry, barren, difficult
place of isolation, heat, thirst. This
is the place John chooses to prepare
the way of Jesus. Why the wilderness?

This is what John cries out: “Make ready
the way of the Lord! Make the Lord’s paths straight!”

If I heard John cry out these words,
would I have known what he meant?
Would I have known how to get things ready
for the Lord?

Would I have repented of my sins?

I get things ready for the way of the Lord
by repenting of my sins. To repent is to prepare
the way of Jesus. Confession paves
a path for the Lord to come onto—as if my life
is part of the route Jesus wants to travel,
and repentance opens wide that path for Him
to accomplish His purposes in me—through me.
He wants to walk on the way that is me,
and my turning from sins opens wide
His paths, removes blockades and detours,
makes His paths straight and smooth.

Jesus, I repent of my sins and surrender my life to You. Let me be an open highway, that You may freely travel to do what You purpose to do in me and through me. Amen.

(Reflections on Mark 1:1-5)

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