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Tuesday in Lent 1

Luke 3

dead-sea-depressionGeography.com notes that the Dead Sea and connecting Jordan River valley are the lowest point on earth.  At roughly 1350 ft below sea level, to get any lower, you have to be in a cave, dig a tunnel or be underwater.

I was reading another author who made a special point to note that this was the place where John the Baptist conducted his ministry of calling and preparing Israel for the Messiah’s coming.  God sent him to meet his people at their lowest point, at quite literally, the lowest point on earth, to tell them, “the Coming One” is soon to arrive.

By meeting His people here in the Jordan valley, God was not doing a new thing.  He’d met them here before as He led them into the Promised Land via Joshua.  And John’s preaching is every bit as anticipatory of God’s amazing action on behalf of His people as the conclusion to the great exodus from Egypt, even more so.

We’re used to seeing these words at Advent, not so much Lent.  How do you hear them when the pressure of Christmas isn’t just right around the corner?  Is the call to repentance stronger in your ear now than in December?

The people John speaks with, are cut to the core.  They ask him, “What must we do?”  And he tells them.  “Get straight.”

There’s not one of us who doesn’t have a few mountains that need leveling or a few valleys that need raising up.  But don’t mishear the call.  Repentance is not making yourself right.  It’s acknowledging what God has said and allowing Him to make you right.  The difference is trying to live out of your own energy and living life out of what God gives unceasingly.  It’s the difference between self-righteousness and a life of humility.

God has come.  “Get straightened.”  He will do it.

 

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