A prophet of the Most High ...
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. -Luke 1:76-79 NLT
The Christmas story is not only about the birth of the Messiah but it is also about the amazing birth of His forerunner. These words are ones spoken over that forerunner by his father Zechariah as he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied these words. It is so interesting that from the very beginning both Jesus and John the Baptist had words that described their mission. From infancy their parents were able to speak to them of their mission and destiny.
I love how Zechariah's prophecy tells us that the message of his son, John the Baptist, will be one of forgiveness, mercy and peace. I wonder if he could one day envision his boy standing in the waters of Jordan preaching this message? The phrase "the rising sun will come to us from heaven" tells me that this prophet, with his wife Elizabeth, believed that Mary was carrying God's son. In the years to come Mary would need to be reminded of these prophetic words.
Remind us today of our mission Lord. Help us to tell the story of one who came to guide our feet into the path of peace.