Preparing the Way: Why “Reconcile” Must Be the Chief Cry of Our Hearts

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“For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Matthew 3:3, KJV)

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13, KJV)

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God.’” (2 Corinthians 5:20, HCSB)

Jesus clearly declared that he was coming back.

As Christians, we’re always living in a kind of limbo. We are the original Occupy movement, but with rather a different focus :).

There seem to be as many responses to Jesus’s declaration that he would return as there are shades of Christian.

A popular one is to act like he didn’t say it or at least doesn’t mean it.

Just as popular is a kind of news-watching, Revelation-cherry-picking doom-and-gloomism I really dislike, both on exegetical and personal levels.

Others are actively trying to act as modern John the Baptists, getting our generation ready for what may be right around the corner; while still others occupy in more mundane (but no less real) ways.

We treat the concept of Christ’s return with varying levels of guilt, panic, indifference, confusion, fear, happiness, escapism, and real joy.

Of course what we SHOULD be doing is pleading, like Paul did, “Be reconciled to God.”

There is still time, and that’s the point, isn’t it? Peter says the Lord is waiting not because he’s giving a really bad judgment time to cook up but because he loves everyone and wants them to repent.

Time and his kindness will, apparently, allow for a lot more of that before he returns.

I love the imagery in Isaiah and Matthew (which I wrote about last Tuesday) of preparing the way for the LORD. In a sense that’s what we are all give the opportunity to do.

Prepare the way. Clear the road. Level and smooth out the rough and broken places. Lay our own lives down on the road like palm branches and like coats, preparing for the final and glorious triumphal entry.

I wonder what that could look like on various levels. What does it look like to prepare the way for Christ in my own lifestyle, my own spirit, my own day-by-day existence?

What does it look like to prepare the way for him in the church? (Don’t look now, but I suspect our road is full of potholes, boulders, and broken asphalt. Time to level things out again!)

What about preparing the way for Jesus in society? Is that possible? What does that even look like?

(I don’t know, but if every action and word we speak to prepare the way in our society doesn’t send back the echo “Be reconciled to God!”, then I think we’re not quite getting it right. I don’t mean doing street-corner evangelism every day. I mean living our lives in a way that invites and attracts people to be reconciled to the Father.)

I know things are bad in our society and culture right now. I know things are incredibly rocky all around the world.

But I hope that rather than look at the mess, read some scintillating prophecy book, and declare that God’s clearly getting ready to torch the whole road, we will consider rolling up our sleeves, whistling while we work, and preparing the way.

Joyfully, with anticipation. With singing.

What are your thoughts on the second coming and how we might live in light of it?

P.S. Nathan Partain is a musician I discovered through Jeffrey Overstreet, one of my favorite authors. I absolutely love this song and think of it every time I read 2 Corinthians 5. Click “live” to hear it:



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One response to “Preparing the Way: Why “Reconcile” Must Be the Chief Cry of Our Hearts”

  1. Elva Avatar

    I think we ought to live no differently then we are called to daily … walking humbly with God and emulating the heart of Jesus.
    This in itself takes a lifetime to learn!

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