The Birth of John the Baptist
Open Your Bible
Text: Luke 1:57-80
Not everyone’s holidays are filled with family, cozy fires, plaid flannel blankets, and presents under the tree. For some of us, the holidays bring the pain of knowing someone is missing. Or a reminder of a hope gone unfulfilled. Some of us have strained relationships, and all those family gatherings just highlight the tension we keep under wraps the rest of the year.
As a teenager, my life with my dad was not easy. For a whole list of reasons, we struggled to see good in each other, we felt a loss of trust and, honestly, I felt a loss of love. This continued for years unchecked, and the holidays always made it extra apparent to me that things were not as I hoped they’d be. I would picture my girlfriends going back to their family homes and arriving to hugs and cheers from their father, excited to celebrate Christmas together.
My Christmases have never been bright in that cozy familial way, but when I read about the birth of a tiny John the Baptist, I remember all over again that our hope is not in our earthly father but in our Heavenly Father who loves us without end.
As we’ve already read, John the Baptist’s earthly father was Zechariah. I can only imagine that Zechariah was overcome with joy to be a dad, because Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth had all but given up on ever becoming parents. John was a long awaited baby who had joy-filled parents.
In Luke 1, we see Zechariah speak truth and hope over his son. He prophesies that John will turn people away from darkness and towards the light. He tells of the way that John will usher Jesus in and prepare the way. It is powerful. It is loving. It is mighty.
Can you imagine if your father spoke such life over you? Maybe it’s hard for you to imagine because your earthly father is angry or aloof. Or maybe you don’t know your father at all.
But our God, He turns earthly things upside down. We don’t have to hang our hope on our fathers—or anyone—here on Earth. Your Heavenly Father has already spoken words of hope and joy and freedom into your life. He has made you in His image and He wants to redeem your life through Christ. He has made unfathomable promises over you! He calls us a “people of his own possession,” a royal priesthood. He says that Jesus reigns and that He’ll come back for us.
When I read these words from Zechariah, I think, How magnificent to have a father who loves you so ferociously that he’d proclaim truth over you. But then I remember, I do have a Father who does that! He has already saved me, He has already planned for me good works to do in His name, and He loves me fiercely.
Just like Zechariah proclaimed over a tiny baby John, these things are true because of God’s mercy and God’s goodness, and for God’s glory. What hope we have in this season knowing that we have a Father who has spoken life over us, through Christ!
For an added layer of worship during this sweet season of adoration and expectation, we’ve created a Spotify playlist for Advent 2014! You can find the complete SheReadsTruth | O Come Let Us Adore Him playlist at this link, or listen to today’s track on the player below. Enjoy!