Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 65:8-25; Luke 3:1-20
So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. (Luke 3:18)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. A blessed and joy filled Christmas to all the Saints of God! John the Baptist is making ready the people of God for the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. We have journeyed with the Christ child through this season of Christmas. The angels have sung, the shepherds have shared, Jesus is named and circumcised, the Magi are arriving, and we are getting ready for the Baptism of Jesus.
John is proclaiming the law and Gospel to the people of Israel. The kingdom of God is at hand and John is preparing the people as the last of the prophets. John is that final prophet that ushers in the era of the Kingdom of God in our presence. Christ will come to the waters of the Jordan, the Heavens will be open, the dove will descend and the voice from Heaven will proclaim the arrival of God’s Son. John the Baptist prepares the way for the Messiah.
The final day of Christmas connects us to the ministry and work of Christ as our redeemer. John not only proclaims the Law, but he also proclaims the “good news.” He proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He proclaims that the Messiah is here to deliver the people of God. The Law will be fulfilled, and the final sacrifice will be given for the forgiveness of sins.
John’s words of the Gospel are for us too! We have journeyed through Christmas and are on the eve of Epiphany. The way for our salvation is prepared. We have heard the message of repentance and forgiveness. We are washed in the waters of Baptism. We are brought into His family. We are declared the first-born son and are given the inheritance of life everlasting. The world works on hearts and minds to deceive us that we are not ready or nor worthy of this free gift but through our Baptism we are made ready and prepared for eternal life and the glorious return of our Savior Jesus Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Grant us, O God, the strength and courage, To live the faith our lips declare; Bless us in our baptismal calling; Christ’s royal priesthood help us share. Turn us from every false allegiance,That we may trust in Christ alone; Raise up in us a chosen people, Transformed by love to be Your own.
(LSB 600-Mark How the Lamb of God’s Self-Offering stz 3)
-Pastor Timothy Paul Davis is Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens Georgia.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.