12.14.2015

Luke 1:57-80 | LCA Reading Plan

The Birth of John the Baptist
When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.

When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”
 
Birth of St John the Baptist - Artemisia Gentileschi
“What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.

Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.

Zechariah’s Prophecy
Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:

“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has visited and redeemed his people.
He has sent us a mighty Savior
    from the royal line of his servant David,
just as he promised
    through his holy prophets long ago.
Now we will be saved from our enemies
    and from all who hate us.
He has been merciful to our ancestors
    by remembering his sacred covenant—
the covenant he swore with an oath
    to our ancestor Abraham.
We have been rescued from our enemies
    so we can serve God without fear,
in holiness and righteousness
    for as long as we live.
“And you, my little son,
    will be called the prophet of the Most High,
    because you will prepare the way for the Lord.
You will tell his people how to find salvation
    through forgiveness of their sins.
Because of God’s tender mercy,
    the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    and to guide us to the path of peace.”

John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.

Luke 1:57-80
Reflection: Zechariah praises God because Jesus was coming to earth to redeem His people. Many people had their own ideas of what His redemption might be: security, prosperity, political, social, etc.

This week as you reread this passage, reflect on the true meaning of Christ's redemption. Be careful not to allow your desires to shape what Christ has come to do, but try to see His desires for mankind's redemption. As you listen and participate in conversations this season, listen for opportunities to be a light for those looking for redemption in a presidential candidate or something you can buy. Instead, how can we guide others to the one and only source of peace and redemption?

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