4th Week of Advent (Mass in the Morning)
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High.
In one sense, today’s Gospel (Luke 1:76) is the story of an early Christmas gift. Upon having his mouth opened, Zechariah erupted in praise of God for his mercy and coming salvation. But right in the middle of his song of praise, he turned to John, his newborn son, and delivered a prophecy about him: “You, my child, shall . . . go before the Lord to prepare his way” (Luke 1:76). He spoke of John’s future and the important work he would do in preparing God’s people for the Messiah. You might say that by doing this, Zechariah gave John the gift of God’s words. He outlined the future that awaited his son and spoke of how God was going to bless him and guide him.
Today is Christmas Eve. Every-one can feel the excitement building, especially as children eagerly await the time when they can finally open their gifts. But what if, as we wait, we were to consider doing something for our loved ones that mirrors what Zechariah did for John? What if, in addition to giving the traditional Christmas gifts, we were to give our loved ones the gift of a special word from God?
It might sound intimidating. I’m no prophet! How can I presume to speak for God? But it doesn’t have to be grand or spectacular. Simply speak from your heart the words that you think God would want to tell them.
You don’t even have to say anything! Just write a little note that will encourage and uplift them. Remind them that they are a son or daughter of God. Tell them how much God loves them and how deeply he wants to bless them. Point out one or two gifts that you think God has given them, and encourage them to use those gifts to build his Church. Then give them the note before Christmas Day—or slip it in their stocking tonight before you go to bed.
Words of encouragement like these can make a powerful impact. Who knows? Your note might even spark a desire in them to take another step closer to the Lord!
“Lord, help me to bless and encourage the people around me.”
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Word Among Us