‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” Luke 3:4b, 6
All flesh! This notion of flesh in the Greek, the original language of Luke’s gospel is “one who is or becomes a physical being, living being with flesh.”
This notion of flesh fascinates me. It’s how we seem to be able to identify each other, right? The flesh that covers human’s face begins soft as a rose petal, enters a period of frustrating acne, and evolves to a papery-thin texture, with varying crisscrossing of lines defined by time and emotion.
Our world has fixated on the color of flesh, having produced horrific ideologies that diminished the equal humanity of the varying tones and shapes.
God is not so discriminating, says the prophet in scripture. All flesh, including any living being (perhaps to include dogs and cats, frogs and alligators, bovines and equines, birds and serpents), shall see the salvation of God.
And if all flesh sees salvation, what shall they see? Will salvation look the same for everyone, regardless of faith, race or creed? Will salvation appear the same to the mammal, amphibian, and reptile?
These verses from Luke’s gospel beg us to be curious. These words that hearken back to the prophet Isaiah, being spoken on a wilderness road in 1st Century Palestine by John the Baptist in Luke’s gospel and read by us today, pivot us to look squarely at God, the One we confess as “God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth” in the words of the Apostles’ Creed.
It is THAT God, who shows up to us through Christ Jesus to become flesh, too. Flesh is beloved by God. It is a venue through which we might SEE! And we are baptized into the life, death, and resurrection of that Flesh. The life of Christ becomes our life, too. That is one holy mystery.
As God’s people, we are called to “prepare the way of the Lord” for “ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God!” What is it that you and might do to prepare that way? What hindrances that prevent people from seeing the salvation ought to be torn asunder in our time?
In these days, Risen Lord, do not take for granted all the little and large things you do that prepare people to experience God’s love, a slice of seeing God’s salvation. Consider all flesh. It is sacred and beautiful. Every creature from the stirrings within a mother’s womb or egg to the last breath, even in that which has decayed shall see God’s salvation! May our words and actions help prepare the way.