It is not down in any map; true places never are.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
~ Luke 1:76-78
The truth is, we are all in dress rehearsal. We are all rehearsing our lines, moving through the blocking, trying to catch all the cues, working with our fellow thespians who forget their lines or are sick and cannot make it this time. The truth is, when we get to that final performance, it will be nothing like we ever knew, and everything we always hoped for.
A child I know had one line in a Christmas play. One line. She had her costume, which she was so proud of, she knew her line inside and out. The play came, and she told her parents she was sick. She would’ve taken the first grade Oscar for that performance, but she never made it to the play. I know she still regrets that and is hoping to say that line only once more. The line, “Here comes Jesus now!”
True places are places that we know, especially when we are there. They are places in time, in space. Places with no visible road map, no GPS. We have a guide book, we have a guide, but the choice is ours to take set out. And our job is to prepare.
This is the next verse in The Message by Eugene Peterson:
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.
We need to stay at the ready for the curtain call, walk in the ways we know ready for Him to come.
Lord, prepare our hearts to walk your path, preparing the way for your return. Help us to be ready for your humble entry, where a stable became a holy place. In Jesus’ name,