Luke 1:57-80

Key Verses:

76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Reflection:

Christmas Adam. The day before Christmas Eve, my very favorite day of the year. I experience Christmas Eve as the epitome of the Christian life, the day all of the now-but-not-yet waiting has funneled into. It represents the tension we live in of knowing Jesus has set us free once and for all, yet He has not come back to make everything right. It points to and moves toward Christmas Day, the hope of the incarnation, just as we set our sights (throughout the rest of the year) on the hope of Jesus returning to bring full restoration. Except Christmas Day really comes the next morning, whereas we aren’t sure of when, exactly, Jesus will come back.

Christmas Adam is our John the Baptist of Advent. It paves the way for our Christmas Eve – the now of Jesus’ completed work on the cross, and the Holy Spirit’s presence with us.

When I set a table to prepare for guests, I think about what is to come. I anticipate, I’m intentional, and I hope my guests are actually going to show up. In fact, I plan on it. I want them to feel seen, welcomed, and as if they belong. I want to feast with them at that table.

Today, we think of and celebrate John the Baptist, the original table-setter, vision-caster, and voice of what was to come. He was an usherer-in and announcer of the Realest Hope of all time who was right around the corner. Two days, y’all!!!

Liz Edrington

Prayer:

Lord, would you make us into preparers of our tables in our Christian lives, into welcomers and proclaimers who sing of the Joy who was, and is, and is to come. Would you form us ever more into light-bearers like John who know and shout of the good news that changes the world. Amen.

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea,66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

CategoryAdvent 2016