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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Today’s Reading | Luke 1:67–80

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. (NRSV)


Reflection

It seems that every year, right after Halloween, “sightings” of Christmas come slowly upon us—from the retailers with all their decorations, to the Christmas music being played on the radio. It becomes so easy for our young boys to be suddenly wrapped up in the spirit of the season. They meticulously make their Christmas lists (multiple times) from all the holiday retail fliers that come in the mail. They especially eagerly await Target’s big book of toys. The excitement escalates as the days get closer to Christmas, and the suspense builds with each present placed under the tree. They secretly shake the boxes to try and guess what is inside, thinking that I don’t know what they are up to. Memories of my childhood race before me, and I clearly remember how I would do the same exact thing when I was their age.

When we talked about this scripture passage, this idea of waiting, anticipating, expecting, and hoping seemed to be the important points of this passage. Josh reminded us that Christmas is really a celebration of the birth of baby Jesus. This whole passage talks about the anticipation of Jesus Christ and the promises God had made to us of our future. Seeing our sons’ excitement and hope that come with Christmas is exactly what we as Christians look forward to when God will eventually come and reveal himself again to us all.


Prayer

Dear God, help me never lose the true meaning of Christmas. Bless me and guide me so that I may never lose sight of the wonder and the promise of your Son’s birth and life amongst us. Amen.


Written by Jim, Joyce, Josh, and Luke Van Overmeiren, Fourth Church family


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