The POTUS Barack Obama and many dignitaries would grace this rug in a few hours. The scene is the tarmac at Ben Gurion airport in Israel. I was there in November, but saw no red carpet. Obviously I was too early. But this man, vacuuming the carpet Tuesday was there on time. And his work is of such limited concern that no one is there watching him. No one is there to monitor his activities. He is simply preparing the way for the others.
The report in the New York Times written by JODI RUDOREN and ISABEL KERSHNER and published March 19, 2013 from
JERUSALEM said, "Obama administration officials have made it clear that the top agenda item for the president’s visit here this week is to win the hearts of the Israeli people. He has a lot of work to do."
The pair chronicle the encounter on the red carpet and then commented on the tensions between Mr Obama and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, actually between Obama and Israelis at large.
"The well-documented tensions between Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tell only part of the story: even Israelis who are harsh critics of their own leader felt snubbed when the American president skipped their homeland during his 2009 trip to the Middle East.
Many have never gotten over the speech he made then in Cairo, where he twice referred to “Palestine” in the present rather than future tense, and insinuated that Israel was rooted in the tragedy of the Holocaust rather than ancient history. "
Making the scene ready was important on Tuesday for this cleaner. Making the Israeli public ready to receive Mr Obama ... that's another story.
Nearly 2,000 years ago another ready-er was in town. Not in Lod, but down by the riverside along the Jordan River. His name was Yochanan. He was calling the Jewish people to listen to his message, to repent, to make ready the coming of the Lord. When he told his own people to be baptised, a rite used in many circumstances, but in most Jews's minds, reserved for Gentiles who wanted to convert to Judaism, Yochanan was met with derision. "How dare you!" they cried. "We have Abraham as our father."
But Yochanan replied, "God is able to raise up sons of Abraham from these rocks." Yochanan didn't win any popularity contests, but he was instrumental in making the road ready for another fiery preacher who would follow. The One Yochanan introduced was Y'shua. They were actually cousins.
Y'shua came in a quiet way, not on Air Force One with military fanfare. Y'shua came along to be baptised by Yochanan, to fulfill righteousness. When Yochanan baptised Y'shua, the Spirit of Hashem came on Him like a dove. A voice from heaven cried, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
That's an amazing fanfare. And a holy one. And from the Holy One.
You want peace in Israel? Turn to Y'shua. You want peace in your life? Turn to Y'shua. You want a Passover that's full of hope and joy? Get the personal redemption promised by Yochanan and promised and fulfilled in Y'shua.
Isaiah said, "Prepare the way of the Lord." John (Yochanan) the Baptist said the same thing. I'm joining those prophets in declaring it to you as well. He's worthy of the red carpet, and the media attention, and all things in your life. Call on Him today. He will hear you.
Happy Passover 5773.