A voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” (Luke 3:4)
Becoming a skilled musician requires much preparation. Perseverance, daily practice, and natural ability lead to the confidence necessary to become proficient in the interpretation of musical style and performance. I studied instrumental music as an undergraduate and in my second year studied under one of the principal trumpet department professors—a rare privilege at this school.
In my second lesson, I had not yet learned what was expected of me and was not fully prepared. I fumbled my way through the first piece he had assigned, and about midway through, he stopped me and told me to move on to the next. It was even worse, and he abruptly told me to stop and that the lesson was over. As I fought tears and packed up my instrument, I learned that genuine preparation and a determined shift from my old ways of preparation was going to be required to be ready for each lesson afterward.
God’s prophet, John the Baptist, preached of preparing for the One who was coming to provide salvation. He used his voice to call people to authentic spiritual change and to a baptism of repentance that would wash away old ways of thinking and acting. This foreshadowed the forgiveness of sins that only the Divine One, who was beyond John, could offer. Our preparation requires a humble response and a genuine change of heart.
Ask God to show you where a heart change is needed.
Nancy Pike is the director of creative arts and congregational care at LifeSpring Church. She recently completed a masters of pastoral ministry at Wesley Seminary.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.