Day 4 : Preparing to meet the king (Luke 1:14-17)
Even with the prospect of a very much reduced festive season, preparing for Christmas will occupy our minds and require much time and energy: decorations to hang, cards to write and send, gifts to purchase and wrap, menus to prepare, shopping, baking, cooking … the list goes on!
The angel told Zechariah that his wife would bear a son in her old age. Along with his miraculous arrival came a divine call. This child, John, would become the first prophet in Israel for over four hundred years and he would be the last before the arrival of God’s promised servant King, Jesus. Indeed, as the angel explains, using words evocative of Old Testament prophecy, John’s role would be to prepare God’s people for the arrival of their new King – a keenly awaited event, even if events were to take some unexpected twists!
John would lead an austere life. He was fully committed to his call. His preaching was direct, hard hitting, and yet the crowds flocked to hear him, many repenting and being baptised in readiness for the King’s arrival.
Yes, John prepared others to meet Jesus.
As Christmas preparations begin to fill up our to do lists, we would do well to quieten ourselves, and to think through how we can better prepare our own hearts, in repentant holiness, and loving service, for King Jesus’ return in glory.
In similar vein, we can consider how we can better help prepare our families and friends, our neighbours and colleagues, that they too might be ready to meet the returning King.