December 24

“Joyful Praise”

Luke 1:67-79

And his father Zechari′ah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
“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 perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath which 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 the days of our life.
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,
through the tender mercy of our God,
when the day shall dawn upon 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.”

There is plenty to rejoice about in Judea! These last nine months, Zechariah has been able to silently witness the Lord’s promise and Covenant being fulfilled through his wife and through her cousin, Mary. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to finally be able to talk about all of the things God has done! Just as John was filled with the Holy Spirit, now his father is filled with the Holy Spirit and gives us this prophecy. How could you not rejoice when so many blessings have occurred in your life!

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel! When we pray to our Lord, we should always begin with praise of who the Lord is and what he has done. Zechariah praises God for the fulfillment of his promises, and deliverance from their enemies. Jesus was thought to be a new ‘human’ king to lead the people of Israel against their border enemies, but they didn’t understand God’s bigger plan. Instead, Jesus delivered all of us from our enemy, Satan and sin! Zechariah praises God for His mercy and remembering His Covenant. When we pray, we too need to remember all of the blessings, mercy and forgiveness God has given to us. Not to remind God of what He has done, but to remind YOU what He has done in your life. We get too easily wrapped up in our current situations and struggles that we easily forget what God has done, and His promise to deliver you from all evil.

Finally, Zechariah gives praise to God for his son, for his family and how God will use his family to fulfill the promise. God uses each and every one of us, every day, to fulfill His divine plan. We may not actively think about it, or even realize it, but every day, be thankful for being part of God’s plan. Share your knowledge of Salvation History with someone who may not understand. Forgive others who may have hurt you, give mercy to those who need mercy and joy. Let the light of Christ shine through you this Christmas, so you can bring peace and love into this dark world.

Pray:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel! You have promised to bring the Light of the World into the world, our King of kings. He was delivered to us in the smallest package, a newborn Son. He brought us mercy and forgiveness, and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we open our gifts celebrating Your birth, help me to look at my family through your eyes, and see each of them for the blessings and gifts that they are. Let your light shine brightly through me and help me to bring you the gift you long for – my love, praise and devotion. I ask this through your precious Son. Amen.

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