Day23

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

from the Advent 2021: The Everlasting Light reading plan


Luke 1:5-25, Malachi 3:1-4


Section 3: The Light Dawns


Earlier this year, I found out that I was going to be a grandfather for the first time. Unfortunately, there was a catch. I couldn’t really tell anyone. While my wife and I got the good news around Easter, we were among the first ones to be told. That meant we couldn’t say anything to anyone or post anything on social media until my son and daughter-in-law were able to tell several other people on their list. And that took about a month! I’m not saying that I didn’t fudge a bit. I did tell a few people that I knew wouldn’t violate the “cone of silence.” But it was tough. 

Now, imagine a baby whose birth wasn’t just anticipated for a few weeks, but for centuries. That’s what Luke was describing in the opening scenes of his Gospel. First, Zechariah and Elizabeth had waited decades for a child. They had been “living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6), but they could never conceive. 

The nation of Israel had been waiting for centuries for the Messiah and His forerunner. Of course, John the Baptist wasn’t Jesus. He wasn’t God, and He wouldn’t die for the sins of the world. However, he was a reminder that God was still at work among His people. He would bring delight to an elderly couple running low on hope. And he would be a source of joy for a nation desperately needing a word from the Lord.

You may resonate with those feelings this Advent season. On one hand, you might feel like Zechariah and Elizabeth. You might be struggling with a hole in your heart, or it might be hard for you to imagine God working in your life at all. You might be like Israel. You may be longing to hear something—anything—from God. You want to know that He feels your hurts and hears your prayers. You need some assurance that He hasn’t abandoned you. 

Part of the good news of Advent is that God is still active in the world and in your life. He may be operating differently than when He broke into human history at Bethlehem, but He is working. And in His perfect timing, the answer will come.

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One thought on "The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold"

  1. Mike says:

    Timely word of encouragement for me. Thanks Bob!

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