Second Day of Christmas
Scripture: St. Luke 1:67-80 (NKJV)
67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, 69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, 70 as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, 71 that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, 72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, 73 the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. 76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, 78 through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
John the Baptizer was a prophet of the Highest because God used him to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins. This is the greatest, most important message of the Christmas season! The joy, peace, and merriness are all by-products of the great gift that God gave us in His incarnate Son.
Apart from the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ and the repentant faith that the Holy Ghost creates in us, there is no cause for joy and merriness. God’s good will toward men is found in the Gospel of our salvation in Christ, Who would be crucified and risen again at Easter!
John’s role as the last of the Old Testament prophets was important because God’s people needed to be called to repentance. Israel needed to be told, reminded, and re-focused on the fact that their glory was not in themselves, but in God, Who was the One Who lifted them up and saved them from the Enemy. The same is true for all mankind. Our glory is not in our own kindness, or our own generosity. It is in our identity as baptized and redeemed sinners who are alive in the Son of God.
We pray: Lord God, endless thanks and praise be to You on account of Your mercy shown to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Make us always to remember Your kind forgiveness, which is proclaimed to us in Your Word and given to us in Your Sacraments. By these, keep us faithful and steadfast in Your dear Son forever. Amen.