Friday, Fourth Week in Advent (CHRISTmas Eve)
Luke 1:67-80 (NRSV)
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands 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
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
Isn't this a perfect scripture reading for CHRISTmas Eve?
Just as John the Baptist was sent into the earth to be a harbinger for Jesus and to proclaim the good news that Jesus saves us from our sin and gifts us with eternal life, so too are we called to be declarers of the good news!
We may be especially excited about the CHRISTmas gifts we've purchased people. Perhaps you got a good deal, or you found something that you know your loved one will adore. That's truly a wonderful feeling, isn't it?
But, it's an even more wonderful feeling to share JESUS with someone who doesn't have him in their heart. Better than an Ipod, Wii, car, or diamond necklace---is a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ!
If you know anyone who does not have JESUS this season, may I suggest that the best gift you could share would be your love for God and for your neighbor and your sure and certain knowledge of your salvation because of Jesus!
Let's pray: Oh God! Thank you for the greatest gift of all. JESUS! Please help me to re-gift him to everyone that I meet. I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaLta