The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Maddie Bowe. Maddie Bowe has been leading worship in St Mary's for the last few years. She thinks she lives here and constantly leaves belongings behind and takes any odd job going.. we can't get rid of her.. send help..

Luke 1:57-80

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."
61 They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."
62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John." 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.
Zechariah's Song
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him without fear
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 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,
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace."
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Reflection

Prepare The Way

"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." (1:76)

It was prophesied that one would come ahead of Jesus to prepare the way.

"A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God!" Isaiah 40:3 (AMP)

John, the promised preparer of the way. When the Angel Gabriel first appeared to Zechariah in the temple he announced that the child's role would be "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord".

John had a calling, a purpose within the greater purpose.
John= Beloved.
His identity= child of God.
His purpose= (in what God originally said) that He is a preparer of the way.

You'd think God was getting the narrative confused.. the Messiah is coming, the main character, the one we've all been waiting for yet we've been introduced to someone else very important who isn't the saviour..

I feel we can draw parallels here to our ourselves and how we fit into the Jesus story. We're not extras, we are strong supporting roles and we need to stand in our identity as children of God and connect with our original purpose to support our saviour. He needs us. We're all preparers of the way.

My purpose is something I try to be aware of in all aspects of my life and in contact with others. It’s not about the 'platform' moments either.. it's a way of life kinda thing.

What's your purpose? What does your name mean? Are you preparing the way for Jesus in the lives of those around you? In your own life?
What does it look like to prepare the way to you?
What does God have to say about it? Let's ask Him, then allow Him speak to you in His unique way. Don't rush off!

Father God,
You are a purposeful God. Thank you that you love to partner with us, that we are a part of the story you're creating throughout time. Please reveal to me deeper who I am, and what role I play. What is my purpose within your story?
Come Holy Spirit, speak to me.
Amen

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