Today I am going to borrow from and expand on a sermon I heard at church this past weekend. The message caused me to see John the Baptist’s calla little differently and I hope I hope it causesyou to make low the mountains in your life.
Among Christians there is still an ongoing debate as to when the earth was formed and how long it took. Strict Bible interpretations might say it is 6,000 to 7,000 years old while many scientists believe the earth to be a few billion years old.I do not intend to wander into that debate today but I do want to draw a consensus about the changing of the earth over time. I think everyone reading this email will agree that the earth looks dramatically different now than when it was formed, however long ago you want to assume that was. Whether or not you agree with the time lines, here are some interesting videos on your earth’s transformation over time.
Weshould not be surprised by the changing earth’s landscape it was foretold in the Bible. In the Old Testament, we read in Baruch that God willreshape the earth.
Baruch 5:7 “ForGod has commanded that every lofty mountain and the age-old hills be made low, that the valleys be filled to make level ground.”
In fact, just as was foretold the land has changed.Throughout the years old mountain ranges have been worn down by erosion caused by wind, rain and ice. And over these same years, new mountain ranges have been formed by volcanoes, earthquakes and tectonic plate shifts. Scientist tell us that the Barbeton Greenstone Belt in Eastern Africa is the oldest mountain range on Earth (3.5 billion years old). they also tell us that the Himalayas are the youngest mountain range and they are rising by about 5mm per year. Perhaps one of the most recognizable mountain shapes in the world is the Matterhorn. It continues to grow in elevation and changes as the African plate shifts upward onto the Eurasian plate. Finally, over time, many of the great valleys have been filled in, again mainly through erosion.
OkayI will stop with the history and geology lesson.
Where am I going with all of this and how does this impact each of us? Well, in Baruch we read that God would change the earth but in Luke we read something different.
Luke 3:4-5 “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low.”
Can you see here John the Baptist tells us we are the ones to prepare the way? Yes, he says we are the ones to fill the valleys and make low the mountains. What could this possibly mean?
I would suggest to you that as we journey down the path of life we are always encountering mountains and valleys that we have created through sin. Our sins not only separate us from God, but often times our sins can create barriers for others to see God too.Yes my brothers and sisters, our actions sometimes seem to create in surmountable mountains or valleys between us and God. These mountains and valleys that we cause can appear too high or too deep and wide to cross. What are those things in your life that prevent you from having a fuller relationship with the Father? Have your actions or words created mountains or valleys for others in their relationship with God? What features in your life need to be changed?
Jesus did not come into this world to leave things unchanged. He came to transform us. He came to help us become more Christ-like. He wants us to eliminate those areas in our life where we have mountains or valleys separating us and others from Him. John the Baptist calls us to fill these valleys and make low the mountains in our lives. How do we do this? It is simple, just ask Jesus for help. Let’s call on Jesus today during this season of Advent and invite Him to fill the valleys and make low the mountains that keep us and others separated from Him.
Just look around you. The God who made this spectacular planet and continues to reshape our earth can also, reshape us if we just ask Him. Last week’s 4thdayletter invited us to not only look forward to the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas or the Second Coming of Christ but it also invited us to ask Him to come into our lives today. Let’s invite the greatest landscaper (land shaper) of all times to make straight our path and draw us closer to Him.
Heavenly Father, I know you created this earth and all of its mountains and valleys. The thought of all of your creation is almost too hard for my human mind to comprehend, but as I contemplate your power in creation, it gives me hope because I know that there is no mountain or valley that I have created that can separate me from your love if I invite you into my life and ask for your help and forgiveness. Come to me today Lord. Amen