Devotion for the Third Day of Christmas

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
     for he has visited and redeemed his people
 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
     in the house of his servant David,
 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets 
     from of old,
 that we should be saved from our enemies
     and from the hand of all who hate us;
 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
     and to remember his holy covenant,
 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, 
     to grant us
     that we, being delivered from the hand 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
     in the forgiveness of their sins,
 because of the tender mercy of our God,
     whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
 to give light to those who sit in darkness and 
     in the shadow of death,
     to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 
 ~ Luke 1:68-79

These are the words of Zechariah upon the birth of his son, John the Baptist. When the angel appeared to Zechariah when he was serving as a priest in the temple, Zechariah was doubtful that his wife, who had been barren for many years, would bear a son. Zechariah was made deaf and dumb for his disbelief, and the words in today’s passage are the first he spoke after he was healed after the birth of John. He recognized that John was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah, who was the fulfillment of ancient prophecies. God had promised His people that he would send a Savior for His people, and though it took thousands of year, God, as always, fulfilled His promise.

Lord God Almighty, I thank and praise You that You always keep Your promises. Even when it seems to me that You nothing is happening, remind me that Your timing is not my timing—but Your timing is perfect. You are never late, but always on time. Give me patience and faith as I wait. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

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