Scripture Reading: Luke 1:67-80 (New International Version)

“His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:”Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 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.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel”

Thought for the day:

Politically, a few years ago, the UK started going through quite an extensive change and upheaval. In 2016 there was a referendum and the majority vote was to remove the UK from the European Union. During the campaign, both sides of the debate ‘predicted’ what would happen. Depending on their political agenda they would make the case for either a political and social utopia or a barren wasteland of economic ruin and trading isolation. Everyone took ‘facts’ and spun them into whatever narrative they wanted to portray. 

The voters somehow had to interpret everything being said and make a judgement call as to who was telling the truth and who they thought had the better idea of what could happen in the future. Ultimately, no-one had any solid notion of what was going to happen. Their best predictions were just guess work or educated hunches based on past trends. No-one can accurately determine future events. Now that we have left the European Union, Brexit may be a great success or could be a disaster. No-one really knows. 

In our verses today, we see Zechariah, filled with the Spirit of God, prophesying in considerable detail, exactly what is going to happen to his son. This is no Brexit type guesswork but God speaking through Zechariah revealing the future of this remarkable man. John the Baptist was to be the ‘forerunner’ of the Messiah and here we clearly see this prophecy being shared to all who were listening. Zechariah was declaring something amazing and this was no ordinary prediction. This was the moment that all Jews had been looking forward to. The identity of the Messiah hadn’t been made known yet, but it was clear that He was on the way. John was to herald Him in and this prophecy was the start of a unique time in the history of the world.