Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. — Luke 3:4-6
The King was coming. And John the Baptist had been called to be His forerunner —to announce that His kingdom was at hand and to urge the people to prepare themselves through repentance. In essence, John was called to smooth the way for the Lord's arrival.
A certain amount of preparation is necessary before a life meets God. We are all in need of smoothing.
Jesus —the holy, righteous King—was coming at a time of great spiritual moral decay. The atmosphere was hostile to righteousness and to the things of the Lord. So John went about urging the people to repent. “Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:9). When the people asked, “What shall we do then?” John answered, “He who has to two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise “ (3:11). In other words stopped thinking about yourselves. Consider others. Straighten out those crooked ways in your life. Get ready for the King.
Our King is coming! With David, let's pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Lord, we invite You to smooth out the rough spots within us. Have your way with our hearts, Father. Amen