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And you will have joy and gladness, and many
will rejoice at his birth (Luke 1:14).
Stringing up Christmas lights is hard work, especially
when you are on that ladder on a cold, windy day in
December. But it's all worth it when evening comes-
when you stand far enough back to take it all in, and
then ... you throw the switch. Those bright lights bring
such joy: a joy many of your neighbors will share too.
Now Zechariah stands in the presence of the holy
angel hearing amazing news. How wonderful it must
be for Zechariah to hear that he and Elizabeth will
finally have that child for whom they prayed so many
decades ago. They will finally hold him in their arms,
their long-awaited son. This child will be a source of
great joy, ending their sorrow, disappointment and
God even handpicks his name: John. It means "The
Lord has shown favor." That favor is even greater
than the conception of this miraculous child
Elizabeth will soon bear; it rests in another Child-
God's own Son. That Son for whom Christmas is
named will bring us true joy and peace as He
removes our sin and guilt and reconciles us to God.
Zechariah and Elizabeth waited decades for the
birth of their son, but God's people waited
thousands of years for their Lord to keep His
promise and send His own Son to save us. John
will bring all these believers great joy because he
will be the messenger who will show the world God's
Son has come at last.
Heavenly Father, fill us with the joy of this blessed
Christmas season, and drive away all our guilt, fear,
and sorrow. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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