67 John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
68 “Bless the Lord God of Israel
because he has come to help and has delivered his people.
69 He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house,
70 just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago.
71 He has brought salvation from our enemies
and from the power of all those who hate us.
72 He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and remembered his holy covenant,
73 the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham.
He has granted 74 that we would be rescued from the power of our enemies so that we could serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes, for as long as we live.
76 You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.
77 You will tell his people how to be saved through the forgiveness of their sins.
78 Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us,
79 to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide us on the path of peace.”
80 The child grew up, becoming strong in character. He was in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.
Take a moment and read the passage again before you proceed: I find it fascinating, amazing that when John the Baptist was born that his father's song of praise, of rejoicing did not first acclaim his own son, but the one who would follow. Who John would prepare the way for. Having become a grandfather again this passage reminded me in my life today that my role for my grandson is to prepare his way to our Lord. To teach him the good news, to lead him by the way I live my life, the words I speak, the expressions upon my face, my actions during trials.
Like John, each of us are given the responsibility to prepare the way for God to enter our children's and grandchildren's lives. Heck, we are called to prepare the way for neighbors, friends and enemies to come and reconnect with God; for God to enter this world as he did years before. In the passage above can you read where our responsibilities lie as they did for John? How can we teach that it was in this moment of history that God's promise of a deliverer to make a broken world new...happened. It is in this advent story and others that can nourish and sustain our trust in God's big promises today.
I cringe when I listen to so many people proclaim we live in a broken world, a dark world, an ugly world. Like John, we have a choice to emphasize this thought or lead people to view the world differently. One of hope and promises to come. One of majestic beauty and love that goes beyond sight. As we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ in this Christmas season think about what you are proclaiming fro the world to see. Embrace Jesus' love where you are at today. I hope ot see you later this morning, pastor Carl
Prayer: Almighty Lord God, sometimes I’m like the man who prayed, “God, give me patience—and do it right now!” Help Zechariah’s song to remind me that, in the end, you always keep your promises, and that those moments are worth waiting for and worth proclaiming. Father, give me the strength to endure the race; to teach repentance; to teach love, mercy and hope. Lord, forgive me my sins. Lord I pray for the church here in Orrington, I pray for my families, friends, neighbors and enemies that they too may come ot know your love. Father, help me as I prepare my heart for the birth, new birth of Your Son in my life. Lord, I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006