Bringing the Text to Life

Circles or Straight Paths? Mark 1:1-8

Circles or Straight Paths?

Time to break out of our endless loops and move in a new direction.

At a Glance

If you like walking, you would have loved the late 1800s when walking was a sport. Professional pedestrians packed America's arenas. People paid good money to watch walkers promenade in circles. Today, most of us, at times, feel as though we're walking in circles. The opening words of the gospel, tell us about someone who came to make our paths straight.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's OT text, see "Time to Build God a New Highway," December 5, 1999, at

At the beginning of the gospel of Mark is a straight line.

Not a circle, but a straight path.

Point A to point B. "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

How different this is from the American arenas of the 1870s and 80s. Back then, the most popular of sports involved walking in circles on dirt tracks. Men and women raced around the clock for six days at a time, and the bleachers at these events were absolutely packed with spectators.

The sport was pedestrianism. Walking in...

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