“And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, ‘What then will this child be?’” Luke 1:57-68
This wonderful account of the birth of John to Elizabeth and Zechariah is an essential part of the birth narrative of Jesus. Just as people would struggle with the identity of Jesus, at this time they were wrestling with this newborn, John, asking, “What then will this child be?”
Has a baby ever been born without parents, family and neighbors asking themselves, “What then will this child be?” A birth is full of hope and promise. A birth is a new beginning, causing us to ponder who or what this child will be in life.
The answer for every child, however, should be the same as that for John. From the moment of conception, each child of God is created to point to, to announce, to herald the coming of Jesus Christ. We become many other things in life, but God creates each and every one of us to be forerunners and witnesses. Like John, we are to live our lives pointing to Jesus, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Many of us live our lives asking, “What does God want me to do with my life?” “Does God have a special purpose for me?” “I wish God would tell me what he wants me to do with my life!”More than anything else, we are to share the good news of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. Our purpose in life is to bring light to those living in darkness, saying, with Zechariah, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people…in and through Jesus Christ, the only Son of God.” This Advent season, consider how you might introduce someone else to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Lord God, send us to friends, neighbors, family members who live in the darkness of sin and fear of death, that we may point them to the Lamb of God. Amen.
Prepared by David Wendel, North American Lutheran Church