New Relationship - Luke 1:76-80
December 23, 2022, 9:17 AM


And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.”

John grew. He must have been in his late 20’s or early 30’s since Jesus came on the scene at 30. It doesn't really say how long John spoke, but people from all around would come to hear him. He boldly preached repentance to prepare their hearts for what God was going to do.

We do a lot to prepare for Christmas: Songs, music specials, baking, cooking, shopping, ordering gifts, wrapping presents, getting the car gassed up, or tickets purchased and now we have to prepare by getting our driveways cleared from snow and salt the walkways! Almost all our preparations are directly or indirectly to prepare for relationships with people via dinners, parties, etc.

Elizabeth and Zechariah prepared their hearts by focusing God Almighty. We would do well to do the same.

While the hope of Christmas is offered to all men, not all men will accept it. Because God came to earth in the form of a human on the very first Christmas, we have the blessed assurance for loved ones who have passed away and had a relationship with Jesus, of seeing our loved ones again.

God is praised for providing salvation and forgiveness because He is merciful and shines on those living in darkness to provide hope, life after death, and guides our feet in the path of peace. God is praised for He provides His presence for His people. He not only remembers them, but also provides for them spiritually.

God provides for His people in a way that honors Him. He does not forget us either as individuals, or as a nation, or as a church. Man didn't know God in a personal way until Jesus came in love. Mankind didn't know forgiveness until Jesus came to offer a relationship with our creator. We have a new peace.

The peace the president of Ukraine is seeking is seeking peace, but peace among men can only happen when all men have peace in their hearts and that only comes as a gift from God.

I think of the hymns we sing that could have been sung by Zechariah s.a. when Charles Wesley penned these words from “Come Thou Long Expectant Jesus”

Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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