In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Luke 1:5-17
Zechariah prays. God hears his prayer. He sends an angel, bringing great and yet unbelievable news to Zechariah and Elizabeth. God’s Truth comes to pass for He said it.
And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember His holy covenant, the oath that He swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel. Luke 1:67-80
John was to “…make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
As I prepare for Christmas this year, I am mindful of being drawn closer to Christ Jesus, my LORD, with each day, each passing minute, even seconds. God gave John a calling to draw people to the LORD Jesus even before He became known. He was to prepare a people for the coming of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah. In our own day, we, too, can prepare for His coming as He enters our hearts with newness each year, each Christmas, but also each and every day, each and every moment. Christ brings cleansing and wholeness to us with each breath.
May we then be prepared ourselves and turn to prepare others. May we be sensitive to those whose hearts are hardened to Christ, not desiring to know Him, not thinking they need Him. May Your words come out of our mouths to touch those hard hearts and soften those hearts towards Your Son. May the soil be made ready for the seeds to be sown, to sprout, to send down roots, to grow and be fruitful. Prepare us, O LORD.
Father God, I seek You and call upon You to prepare my heart in this Advent season. I wait. I wait, Father, for Your Son comes anew although He has been, has gone, rose again, and yet lives in me today through Your Holy Spirit for I am one who had to be prepared for His coming. I believed. But I believe today, not in the past tense, for “believing” is ongoing and for always. Father, breathe in me afresh daily that I would be able to continually be prepared so that I then may prepare others for His coming. I praise You, Father, for You gave us the Only Gift we would ever need. Nothing else matters. Nothing…for until I knew You, nothing meant anything. I thought ‘things’ meant something to me, but they really did not. Knowing You, Your Son, Your Holy Spirit, the Trinity, is All that makes a difference in my life. I know that Your Son is the Redeemer for He redeemed me…yes, even me. Praise You, LORD. You are the Holy One of Israel. And He will come again to take believers to His Heavenly Home. Open my mouth, guard my steps, make my life a light to others that I may share the wonderful Truth of Jesus. Make me ready, please. I pray in Your Wonderful Name. Amen.
Fear not, you worm Jacob,
you men of Israel!
I am the One Who helps you, declares the LORD;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 41:14
Winter Image by Ina Hoekstra from Pixabay
Image with Luke 1:17: https://www.freeimages.com/photo/mountains-1562932 / danieloo fiatod