A Word from the Pastor :: Week of December 8, 2013
HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN
Do you remember Michael Landon? Depending upon your age or your craze for watching re-runs, you may recall his popular television series of the 80's, “Highway to Heaven”. Landon played the role of an angel who was sent to earth to help people toward a better life. A few years later another show picked up the same theme with Della Reese in “Touched by an Angel”. Whether you were a Landon fan or Reese fan, the concept did not begin with a TV producer or writer. Rather, it began long before cable and even before rabbit ears. It began with the One who Landon referred to in Highway to Heaven as “The Boss,” the Lord God.
We see one of the early episodes in today’s gospel. Instead, the main person in the story is John the Baptist. There had been others, including Moses and the prophets who preceded John, but Matthew’s gospel focuses on John because he came so immediately in front of Jesus. His mission, as Isaiah had predicted it, was to prepare a road for the Lord. He was the original road builder.
Can we really say that we would be impressed had we been there? He was hardly the kind of person whom anyone would ask directions to the next town, let alone heaven. How many of his type have we written off in our own time?
Matthew tells us that many went out to see John and to listen to him. Matthew, Mark and Luke each tell us that John was out in the desert. Remember, Jesus also would later go to the desert, for us the desert is the place that is away from the many distractions that make up our lives.
And what does John say to those people in the desert? He says, “Repent.” Furthermore he calls them to a new life of baptism. Indeed it is about building a new highway.
So as we move through these next few weeks of Advent, we will do well to spend some time in the desert where we can hear the voice of God in our hearts and discover the only highway that really matters. The highway to heaven!
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