And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth (Luke 1:14).
Read Luke 1:14-15.
Stringing up Christmas lights is hard work, especially when you are on that ladder on a cold, windy day in December. But it's all worth it when evening comes-when you stand far enough back to take it all in, and then ... you throw the switch. Those bright lights bring such joy: a joy many of your neighbors will share too.
Now Zechariah stands in the presence of the holy angel hearing amazing news. How wonderful it must be for Zechariah to hear that he and Elizabeth will finally have that child for whom they prayed so many decades ago. They will finally hold him in their arms, their long-awaited son. This child will be a source of great joy, ending their sorrow, disappointment and heartache.
God even handpicks his name: John. It means "The Lord has shown favor." That favor is even greater than the conception of this miraculous child Elizabeth will soon bear; it rests in another Child-God's own Son. That Son for whom Christmas is named will bring us true joy and peace as He removes our sin and guilt and reconciles us to God.
Zechariah and Elizabeth waited decades for the birth of their son, but God's people waited thousands of years for their Lord to keep His promise and send His own Son to save us. John will bring all these believers great joy because he will be the messenger who will show the world God's Son has come at last.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, fill us with the joy of this blessed Christmas season, and drive away all our guilt, fear, and sorrow. In Jesus' Name. Amen.