As a math teacher, I would counsel my students with the statement -“the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” Yet there have been times when my life has taken me in very circuitous ways! Sometimes I have gone out of my way to avoid another person; other times I have taken a roundabout way home to enjoy Mill Creek Park.
Our Gospel today, despite our sometimes roundabout ways, gives us a clear instruction- make straight our path to the Lord. Our Gospel also makes clear the means to make that path straight: repentance and forgiveness.
Sometimes we don’t understand or are unaware of the importance of repentance and forgiveness in our relationships with one another. Repentance for the forgiveness of sins is an essential requirement for us to see the salvation of God. What is at stake in our making a straight path to the Lord is our salvation.
To be honest, it’s not the busy-ness of Christmas preparations that distract me from my ongoing work of repentance and forgiveness. Each day of the year I tend to be distracted by work, paths of indecision, valleys of doubts and fears. Today might be a good day to reflect on God’s forgiveness and mercy and how God gives sure direction in my life.
Part of the work of Advent is smoothing our relationships with each other so we can see the nearness of God in each other.