Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Fourth Wednesday of Advent - Luke 1: 57-80

Luke 1:57-80 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

The Birth and Naming of John
 57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she had a son. 58 Then her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her His great mercy, and they rejoiced with her.    59 When they came to circumcise the child on the eighth day, they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But his mother responded, "No! He will be called John."
    61 Then they said to her, "None of your relatives has that name." 62 So they motioned to his father to find out what he wanted him to be called. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote:
    And they were all amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue [set free], and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard about [him] took [it] to heart, saying, "What then will this child become?" For, indeed, the Lord's hand was with him.
Zechariah's Prophecy
 67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:     68 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because He has visited
    and provided redemption for His people.
    69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of His servant David,
    70 just as He spoke by the mouth
    of His holy prophets in ancient times;
    71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the clutches of those who hate us.
    72 He has dealt mercifully with our fathers
    and remembered His holy covenant —
    73 the oath that He swore to our father Abraham.
    He has given us the privilege,
    74 since we have been rescued
    from our enemies' clutches,
    to serve Him without fear
    75 in holiness and righteousness
    in His presence all our days.
    76 And child, you will be called
    a prophet of the Most High,
    for you will go before the Lord
    to prepare His ways,
    77 to give His people knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins.
    78 Because of our God's merciful compassion,
    the Dawn from on high will visit us
    79 to shine on those who live in darkness
    and the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.
    80 The child grew up and became spiritually strong, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

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