Intro: Yesterday, in our passage from Luke, Zechariah shared about how God had moved in sovereign and miraculous ways throughout history. He shared about God’s faithfulness to redeem Abraham, David, and all who would fear the Lord; God promised to bless all people and help them conquer sin. Today, Zechariah’s praise and prophecy becomes more personal. Zechariah speaks a prophetic word over his baby son, John (the Baptist). God had chosen John for a special role in the ministry of the Messiah. John would be a prophetic preacher proclaiming every person’s need for salvation and leading them to Jesus who would bring them into his shalom [peace/well-being/reconciliation]
Jesus truly does illuminate our paths with shalom. First, he brings us peace or reconciliation with God, because sin disrupts shalom. Second, Jesus brings us peace or reconciliation with others, because we need help moving beyond oppressive tendencies, greed, and arrogance in our social relationships. Third, Jesus brings us peace or reconciliation within our own hearts. We can experience inner security, an emotional sense of well-being, and rest in confidence because God is with us. Now, we wait for God to reconcile all things to himself through Jesus Christ the Lord (Col 1:20).
And to you I prophesy, my little son,
you will be known as the prophet of the Most High.
You will be a forerunner,
going before the face of Lord Yahweh,
to prepare hearts to embrace his ways.
You will preach to his people the revelation of salvation,
the cancellation of all our sins, to bring us back to God.
The splendor-light of heaven’s glorious sunrise
is about to break upon us in holy visitation,
all because the merciful heart of our God is so very tender.
The word from heaven will come to us
with dazzling light to shine upon those
who live in darkness, near death’s dark shadow.
And he will illuminate the path that leads to the way of peace.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the way you have worked through obedient people in the past, to bring us into a future where we can experience your holy presence and shalom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.