John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”
Read: Genesis 42:1-45:15
Relate: As I was chewing over this verse, the image kept coming back to me of a man with a trumpet who would blare it in the center of a busy street and then yell out, “Clear the way! The king is coming.” He would then move forward a block or two and repeat the process before a new crowd. A short time later the king, with his processional would come riding up the street. Everyone who was once milling about to conduct their business would now be lined up at the edges, kneeling until he passed by. After the king has moved forward, some would join in at the end of the processional while most would go back to their business as if nothing has happened.
Throughout most of time, including here in America today, the head of state cannot go anywhere without plenty of buzz and fanfare. It was about a year ago when president Obama came to Binghamton. I was working so didn’t get to see it, but I did have to drive on some of the streets he would later be taking. Lets just say it wasn’t very easy to navigate and there seemed to be cops everywhere. When he showed up, it was kind of a big deal and there was a lot of work that went into making the way ready.
React: Looking up “processional” I did something I normally do not like to do and visited wikipedia. They call a procession “an organized body walking in a formal or ceremonial manner.” What struck me is that the church is a procession. Wikipedia later on gives a list of typical elements in a procession. They include: a special mode of transport (Luke 9:23), music (Psalm 150:3-6), and order of precedence (Colossians 1:18), bearers (John 12:32, Matthew 11:29), scent (Revelation 5:8), skilled performers such as acrobats or dancers (2 Samuel 6:14, Psalms 149:3), special lighting (Matthew 5:14-16), spectacle (Isaiah 52:13-15), and the dispensing of gifts (John 1:16).
The fact is, if anyone has come to know Christ as their King and their Savior, then they have Christ living in them. Where we go, the King goes and therefore we have the same responsibility as John. We must be a voice, shouting out His presence. What is more, when we gather together in a body of believers, we become the King’s procession. We are an organized body walking together in a ceremonial manner. Going back to wikepedia again, it says the purposes of a procession are for advertisement (we present Him to the world), change in government (He is the King, casting down the powers of this world), display of power (duh… He’s God), entertainment and events (it is OK to have fun in church. In fact, it should be a mandate), and solidarity (One God, One Savior, One Church, One Body).
God, You have come. You are here. You are coming. These are three messages we do not shout out nearly enough. Prepare my heart for Your arrival. Clear away anything in me that would prevent You from taking full possession. In like manner, let me be a voice crying out Your arrival in a world that is not ready. Help me to do what I can to be clearing the way so that when Your Spirit rushes in there would be no barrier to Your move. Come quickly, Lord.