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This study is largely taken from a previous sermon on Luke 1:5-17.
John the Baptist serves as a transitional bridge (cf. Lk 7:26-28) between the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. His purpose is to prepare the way for the Lord, to prepare God’s people for God’s Presence.
My brothers and sisters, are we ready for Christmas? Are we prepared for the Lord? Are we ready to follow the Way (cf. Jn 14:6) or are we still going our own way (cf. Psalm 1 Bible Study)?
We may have prepared our homes for company, but have we prepared our hearts for Christ? Let’s not merely celebrate the presents under the tree, but the Presence of the Lord. Who came and dwelled among us (Jn 1:14).
It’s not about the presents, or crying for Santa
It’s about the LORD’s Presence, and crying Hosanna
Christ came in the flesh, you know the grace-that-it-took?
Let’s get off social media, put our face-in-the-Book
Let’s preach the gospel until we have-no-more-breath
Though we walk through the valley of the shadow-of-death
Always keep a godly wishlist-in-view
And tell God, “All I want for Christmas-is-you.”
5 It came to pass, in the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah from the priestly division of Abijah. And with him was his wife – from the (female) descendants [lit. “daughters”] of Aaron – and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Now they were both righteous in the sight of God, walking in all the commands and requirements of the Lord blameless(ly). 7 And they had no child, because Elizabeth was unable to have children and they were both advanced in age [lit. in their days].
8 And it came to pass, while he was serving as a priest in the Presence of God when it was the turn of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter into the sanctuary of the Lord to burn an incense offering. 10 And the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the time of the incense offering.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of the incense offering. 12 And when Zechariah saw [the angel], he was shaken and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not fear, Zechariah, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son. And you shall call him the name John.” 14 There will be joy and exultation for you. And many, on account of his birth, will be overjoyed. 15 For he will be great in the eyes of the Lord, he may never drink any wine or alcoholic beverage, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the descendants [lit. sons] of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go before Him, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare for the Lord a people made ready.
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