I have been thinking about John the Baptist lately (Bear with me…I get these thoughts all the time). Here is what Luke says about him and his mission: “Someone is shouting in the desert: ‘Get the road ready for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel! Every valley must be filled up, every hill and mountain leveled off. The winding roads must be made straight, and the rough paths made smooth.”
I was taught to understand that this passage is about John opening the way for people to receive Jesus which they do by changing their way of behaving. This morning I was thinking about this in a different light. I was thinking about how when we change our way of thinking and behaving for the better, the barriers that stand between us and others are sometimes brought down. I have seen this happen over and over again in the world of recovery. People get sober, take on a new attitude, start acting differently, and their relationships start to improve.
Jesus calls us to love even our enemies, to forgive even those who have harmed us. This may not bring down a mountain, but it will bring down our half of a mountain or fill in our side of the valley. It makes the distance we have to go for reconciliation that much shorter.