Monday December 8th- The Ninth Day of Advent #Messenger

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During the season of Advent, I am going to do something new on the blog. I am going to try my best to offer a daily reflection here as we journey through this season together. To help frame the devotions I have been using hashtags designed by a group with the Episcopalian church. For example, the hashtag assigned for today is #Messenger.

Yesterday I reflected about the idea of repentance, and specifically about how John the Baptist was “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Taking step back though, John the Baptist was first and foremost a messenger.

Zechariah being foretold by the Angel Gabriel about the birth of his son
Zechariah being foretold by the Angel Gabriel about the birth of his son, as depicted by Alexandr Ivanov

Zechariah was foretold about the birth of his son, who would be John the Baptist. Because of his and his wife Elizabeth’s ages, he didn’t think it was possible. However, as Luke 1:8-20 details, that’s exactly what happened. In the fortellling, the Angel Gabriel describes how this son to be born (John the Baptist) would be a messenger.

We hear in verses 13-17 the angel say to Zechariah:

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

We need messages and messengers such as this and other prophets today, just like people did thousands of years ago. We need to hear what it means to be made ready, and to work with and for each other to overcome the brokenness of the world.

I could go on, but I want to leave you with a video today from Pastor Jason Lukis, entitled, “Song of the Grass.” It’s a fitting Advent message through word and song. As you watch it, think about what this kind of messenger would look like in today’s world. What might the message say? How might the message engage the pain and brokenness, and call us to act- participating in works of justice, acts of protest and the proclamation of peace?

Image Credit: Angel Gabriel & Zechariah

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