24 Dec Luke 1:78-79 (DAWN)
“In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 (full readings)
Steve’s Reflections: It is CHRISTmas eve and the “dawn from on high”, Jesus, is upon us. Zachariah paints a powerful image of our savior, Jesus, and how his birth is born out of a father’s compassion and mercy for his people. The messiah is born! The long dark night is over! The words of Zachariah are born out of thanksgiving for the good things God had done. We often forget the miracle of John the Baptist’s conception which mirrors Abraham and Sarah’s conception in the Old Testament. Zachariah and Elizabeth were “advanced in years” and much like Sarah, Elizabeth was barren. The angel of the Lord, Gabriel, appeared to Zachariah while he was in the Lord’s sanctuary burning incense. This was the holiest place known to the Jews. Zachariah was struck mute because of his unbelief that God answered his prayer of many years to have a son. These words are the first words that Zachariah utters once the Lord opens his mouth – they are words of great thanksgiving and recognition of God’s saving power for his people. In the end we needed Jesus infinitely more than God needed us. Jesus is the dawn on the long dark night of our sin and separation from God. Much like a watchman who stands guard through the night let us rejoice at the first light of the dawn – Jesus’ birth. Merry Christmas to all!
* Check out this music video with a timely Christmas perspective check…Where’s the Line to See Jesus?
Faith Challenge: Let the dawn from on high break upon you this Christmas and like Zachariah let it start with words of thanksgiving for the good work God has accomplished in your life.
Sr. Francelle’s Devotion: St. Francis of Assisi “We have Francis to thank for making Christmas come alive through the Nativity Scenes as we have them today. That God would allow Himself to come into the world as a tiny baby, was something that caused Francis so much awe and wonder…it was why he made the first Christmas Crib Scene in Assisi.”
Feast Day: Christmas at Greccio What better way to prepare for the arrival of the Christ Child than to take a brief journey to Greccio, the spot in central Italy where St. Francis of Assisi created the first Christmas crib in the year 1223. Francis, recalling a visit he had made years before to Bethlehem, resolved to create the manger he had seen there.
Faith Quote: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi
Through Christ Our Lord,
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (23% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa
* Evangelize:Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.