Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh start. A new day to rise and move ahead with hope and expectation that the Lord will fulfill His promises to us. As December charges forward and the hustle and bustle of the season screams hurry, we can choose to slow down a little each day and begin to prepare our hearts to receive the gifts that Jesus is offering us. He has so lovingly made a way for us to be in His Presence in direct relationship with Him.
The gospel of Luke has long been celebrated as one of the best gospels for reading the Christmas story. There are 24 chapters. You can read one chapter a day leading up to Christmas, and if you start on December 1st, you can end on Christmas Eve.
This morning I read Luke chapter 1, and we meet Elizabeth and Zechariah. A barren couple who are elderly and have longed for a child. It is Zechariah’s turn to spend a week in the temple and he is also chosen by lots to go into the holy sanctuary and burn the incense. While he is there, he is visited by the Angel of the Lord, Gabriel. Gabriel tells him that God has heard his prayers! That, he and Elizabeth are going to have a son who will be strong in spirit. He will turn the hearts of the people toward the Lord.
Zechariah has a moment of doubt and questions the angel Gabriel. This causes him to be unable to speak for a time. His voice returns to him after the birth of his son. And when Zechariah speaks next, he is so filled with wisdom. First, he speaks of the coming Jesus and what that means to the people. Then, he affirms his newborn son and speaks his purpose too! When the Lord give him his power to speak back, he speaks!
When I read Luke chapter 1, I noticed the revelation Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary each had. Yes, Zechariah and Mary do get visited by Gabriel, but he doesn’t say alot to them. Then when they speak, they have such deep understanding of what is happening to them. That must have been by Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth recognized her miracle was from the Hands of God. She praised God’s goodness. And Elizabeth was being blessed with a child who was to prepare the hearts of the people and turn them to the Lord so that they were ready to receive Jesus. What a miraculous blessing after years of barrenness. Now she was carrying the baby who would later baptize Jesus. The baby who would go ahead of Jesus and begin a ministry in Israel to turn people from sin and to the Messiah. John the Baptist was a prophet who preached the coming of Jesus and the importance of turning from sin and to the Lord. He paved the way for Jesus’s ministry. He prepared hearts and planted seeds of hope. He preached that promises were soon to be fulfilled. John paved the road, prepared the hearts, and planted seeds of hope in the people. He began to stir up hope that help was on the way.
This season can be similar to that first Christmas season. We can begin to prepare our hearts in expectation for Jesus. We can allow seeds of hope to be planted that the Lord is here with us. We are celebrating that He made a way for us so that we can enter His Presence and pray directly to Him. We don’t have to wait for a priest like Zechariah to go into the sanctuary on our behalf. Because of Jesus, we are heirs to the inheritance. We are able to access our Father God at any time just like a son or daughter.
Jesus redeemed us once and for all. John the Baptist prepared the way. Christmas is almost here. While we excitedly wait for Christmas morning, let’s begin to prepare our hearts and make a way for Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father,
What a miraculous Lord you are!!!! You had a plan all along and it unfolded with such mystery and beauty. Thank You that You always have a redemption plan for us. Thank you for the ministry of John the Baptist who prepared a way for people to receive Jesus. Help us to prepare our hearts to completely recieve Jesus and the fullness of what You have planned and prepared for us. In Jesus name, Amen.