December 11: Prepare (Advent Devotional 2014)

Luke 1:67-80 John’s father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, “Bless the Lord God of Israel because he has come to help and has delivered his people. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in his servant David’s house, just as he said through the mouths of his holy prophets long ago. He has brought salvation from our enemies and from the power of all those who hate us. He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and remembered his holy covenant, the solemn pledge he made to our ancestor Abraham. He has granted that we would be rescued from the power of our enemies so that we could serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness in God’s eyes, for as long as we live. You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way. You will tell his people how to be saved through the forgiveness of their sins. Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.” The child grew up, becoming strong in character. He was in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.


How do you view your life? Do you like to be the one getting recognized, or are you comfortable being the one behind the scenes for another person? It is important to know roles we play in our lives.

Here, we find Zechariah giving a prophecy about his son. No doubt he is extremely proud of being a father and excited to watch his son grow up. But if we read this prophecy carefully, it is really about the Messiah to come (Jesus Christ) and the role of John to play in the people recognizing and following Christ. So in reality, this prophecy is saying that John is actually going to play a part behind the scenes for the fulfillment of God’s plan with Jesus.

No doubt, this shaped his upbringing and how he was treated. John became the “pointer” to Christ. This is how our lives should be. Everything John did in his ministry, while alive, pointed people to the Messiah. Even to the point of bowing out when it was his time saying, “He must increase and I must decrease.”

Our challenge today is to see is we are the ones trying to be out front, or if we are doing everything we can behind the scenes to let Christ be known.

Thank you God for the opportunity to be lights in this world so people can see you through us. Help us be the brightest lights we can be and remember this season is about Jesus and not gaining material goods. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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