Welcome to the third Sunday of Advent. Again, you are encouraged to treat Sunday as a true Sabbath, attending worship, where we have many opportunities to pray. Also, disconnect from the patterns of the week as much as possible! Believe it or not, God actually encourages us to do nothing of worldly importance from time to time. Ideally, the prayer patterns established over six days of the week lead you to a Sabbath of constant spiritual communion with God.
Here’s a text to consider today, as we move closer to the story of the incarnation.
Luke 1:67-69 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.”
Here are some questions I would suggest as you dwell on these words. If you’re not familiar with Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, you might want to back up in Luke and understand his full story.
What would it be like to prophesy about your own child’s future?
Do we see how Christ marks a new dawn, one that guides us on the path to peace?