As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Luke 1:68-79 (NRSV)
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands 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
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
The father of John the Baptist speaks for the first time in many, many weeks, and when he does, he speaks of the redemption of the people of God and the servant of God that John would grow up to be. This Advent season, we are not being asked “What Would Jesus Do,” like the t-shirts and bracelets of just a few years ago, for we know that answer. Jesus would go on a passion journey, be crucified and resurrected such that all may be reconciled to God. That’s not an order that we would fill.
But we can accept the challenge of the question “What Would John the Baptist Do?” John meets people before they encounter Christ. He prepares the way for our Lord by letting people know of the salvation and forgiveness of sins that is coming. This we can do as well. When you share your faith with someone who has yet to encounter the Living Christ, is it Good News you are bringing them? Do you meet them in the desert if necessary? Do you affirm them as a beloved child of God? Do you remind them that Christ brings with him salvation and forgiveness? May it be so for all of us!
God of the prophets and the peacemakers, create in us the urgency to share with others the Good News that Christ is coming, and indeed that salvation and forgiveness are breaking forth. Let us be faithful witnesses to the light for those who are sitting in darkness. In Jesus name we ask these things. Amen.
Go with God!