Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: "Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors be remembering his sacred covenant - the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live. "And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." John grew up and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.
Zechariah is immediately filled with the Holy Spirit and he has to shout out his praise to God. You can hear in his words the excitement that he has for the coming Messiah. He has treasured each on of God's promises, and he is pleased that his son will have a part in their fulfillment. Imagine his excitement. The Jews had been waiting for this very day for many years. Here in their life time it will be fulfilled. He describes the coming as the morning sun breaking on the people of Israel. This light will break on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death! What an amazing picture. Later in his ministry, Jesus will tell the people that he is the light of the world. Then he will refer to believers as salt and light. We are not light in our own right. We are more like the moon. We reflect the light of the savior to a lost and dying world. The blessing we have received in Christ is not for us to keep for ourselves. The blessing he has given us should come out of us to the world around us. All of this exists not because we deserve it. We haven't been chosen because of ourselves. It is in spite of who we are that we have been chosen. The only reason we stand in right relationship with God is because of his tender mercy. This Christmas let us try to reflect the light of Christ to those around us!