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Summary: God calls us, as He called John the Baptist, to Prepare the Way of the Lord Proclaim His salvation and Shine with the love and grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ

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This morning I’d like to give a post script to the year.

When you write a letter and you have one more thing to say you write

ps. That means post script, or after the letter.

If you then think of just one more thing you want to say you’ll write

pps. Or post-post script, after the post script.

Zecheriah’s song gives us a pps at the end

Prepare

Proclaim and

Shine

Read together

The Birth of John the Baptist

Luke 157 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 was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 The neighbors were all 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 and has redeemed his people.

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 fathers 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.”

for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,

What is it that makes a person a prophet of the Most High God?

1. He prepares a way for Him.

i. I have friends that are missionaries who talk about “pre-evangelism”; doing things that demonstrate the nature of the Kingdom of God, without preaching or pressing people to make a decision about Jesus. I think in India, particularly, there is a place for this-a place for walking before we talk, preparing the way, opening hearts so that the Lord can pour Himself in.

ii. We prepare the way of the LORD when our actions, our attitudes, the way we treat one another, the way our organizations, including the Church, reflect goodness, kindness, mercy, love-where politics are absent, and quests for power are impossible to find, when we outdo one another in showing humility and taking the lowest place, when people of all colors, castes and languages come together in unity and worship the One True God. We prepare the way of the Lord by having families where husbands love their wives, and where wives respect and obey their husbands, where children honor their parents, where parents nurture their children. We prepare the way for the LORD when we are honest in business, and faithful in friendship-when we as believers speak of others when they are absent better than, or as well as we would if they were present. We prepare the way of the LORD when we help others, no matter what their faith or lack of it, discover and develop all God has designed them to do and be. We prepare the way of the LORD when we tell the story of our own redemption, and share our stories of God’s mercy in our lives. We prepare the way of the LORD when we speak out against injustice and evil and corruption. We prepare the way of the LORD when we create music that worships God in Spirit and in truth.

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