Prepare the Way of the Lord

[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jason Bandura works with the Glen Elm Church of  Christ.  Married to Shannon, he is Dad to three lovely daughters.  He lives on the Canadian prairies and writes occasionally HERE.]

The following experiment was conducted in a Korean lab. While the video may be four minutes long, the first two minutes are enough to serve the purpose of this post.

Have a watch and then let’s discuss.

By the two-minute mark, every metronome but one has synchronized. Forty seconds later, even the last hold-out has joined the club. How’s that work?

The Lord’s Prayer contains this glorious line: “May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as in heaven.” Beautiful thought, but how on earth does that happen? It strikes me that one life might serve as a manageable illustration of how this transformation takes place on a grander scale. Like the video above, a process of synchronization is underway. Even within the dimensions of my own life, this is how God works. His Spirit within me causes a rub wherever His ways and my ways are not aligned. And He goes to work — He sands us, He grinds down our rough parts, and He pulls us into sync with who He is and how He is.

So back to the metronomes.

Did you notice one key detail about the video?

Minus this important ingredient, synchronization would never have happened.

Did you see it?

The platform – it moves. This isn’t a trick or a cheat. By design, the platform is free to move with the momentum of the metronomes, and that makes all the difference. A fixed surface, such as a table, wouldn’t work. It would be too stiff, too inflexible, unprepared to accommodate and respond to the growing rhythm.

The kingdom of God is like a rhythm. It is gaining momentum; it is gathering steam. Scripture envisions a time when God’s rhythm will be so dominating that every lesser beat will be swallowed up. And at that point, “on earth” will be just like “in heaven”.

So how do we get from here to there?

One hard truth is that the changes that we are strong enough to make are cosmetic changes at best. Even the most substantial shifts within our power are insignificant when you consider just how out of sync we are with God’s divine rhythm. The changes we really need to take place will be performed only by the power of God. He must do the heavy lifting. In those instances, our part is to give Him sufficient room to do what only He can do.

Some weeks back, I was carrying an old TV set from our basement to our garage. I don’t remember its size, but it was all I could handle. With arms stretched and neck strained, I worked my way up the steps. Two of my small daughters asked if they could help. Of course, they couldn’t; I replied that I just needed them to stay out of my path. However, as I neared the top of the steps, I realized they could help in two small-yet-vital ways. I asked one to unlatch the door and hold it open, while I asked the other to clear the shoes from the doorway into the garage.

They had no ability to help move the TV, but they played key parts in providing me the space I needed to do the heavy lifting.

Within the flow of Scripture, this is where John the Baptist comes in. Beckoning his listeners far from the comforts of the city into the barren wilderness, he placed one word before them. It wouldn’t change the world, but it was certainly their manageable-yet-mighty move to make. And if they made it, then the Almighty One would have a room to do the real work in their lives.

repent-signRepent.

It’s not flashy. It’s not fun. But in a synchronization process larger than the solar system, every servant has a small-yet-serious contribution to make. And John knew that it started with one word: Repent.

It is how every one of us helps to prepare the way for the Lord.

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