Dr. Ray PritchardDr. Ray Pritchard is the president of Keep Believing Ministries, an Internet-based ministry serving Christians in 225 countries. He is the author of 29 books, including Stealth Attack, Fire and Rain, Credo, The ABCs of Christmas, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, An Anchor for the Soul and Why Did This Happen to Me? Ray and Marlene, his wife of 39 years, have three sons - Josh, Mark and Nick, two daughters-in-law- Leah and Vanessa, and four grandchildren - Knox, Eli, Penny and Violet. His hobbies include biking, surfing the Internet, and anything related to the Civil War.
- 2013 Dec 18
“To show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant” (Luke 1:72).
What was it like just before Jesus came to the earth?
Part of the answer comes from the song of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. You can read the whole song in Luke 1:67-79. Some of it sounds strange to our ears. But that’s part of the great value of this passage. Zechariah’s song reveals the deep faith of the Jewish people on the eve of Messiah’s birth. For hundreds of years the people of God had been waiting for Messiah to come. Now at last he is almost here.
All of that is on Zechariah’s heart and is comprehended in this one single truth: At long last God has visited his people! At long last God has kept his promise. At long last God has arrived on the scene. The Visitor from heaven has come to us.
It’s hard for us to grasp the magnitude of this thought. Nobody appeared more forgotten than the Jews chafing under Roman rule. Reduced to an obscure province in the Roman Empire, they were rejected, overlooked and despised. Nearly 1,000 years had passed since the glorious days of King David. Over 400 years had passed since their last prophet—a man named Malachi.
Now at last, the moment has arrived. As Zechariah looks down at his infant son, he knows that the crucial moment of world history has arrived. In his arms he holds the baby who will grow up to prepare the way of the Lord. That could only mean one thing:
The Messiah is on the way!
The long wait is over!
God has remembered his promise!
He has visited his people!
Christmas is only one week away. As the commercials keep telling us, there are only 7 shopping days left until Christmas Day. But think about what else that means. There are also …
—7 praising days until Christmas
—7 singing days until Christmas
—7 worshiping days until Christmas
How are you going to spend the 7 days that are left for you before Christmas finally arrives? God has visited his people in the person of Jesus Christ. Now that same Divine Visitor comes and knocks at the door of your heart. Will you open the door and let him in?
He come and knocks. Can you hear the sound echoing in your heart? He stands patiently at the door, waiting for you to open and bid him enter.
Good news, my friend. The visitor from heaven is here at last! Will you, like Zechariah of old, drop everything and welcome him into your heart? Or are you too busy this year to be bothered with Jesus?
Lord Jesus, grant that in all my going and coming that I might not be too busy for you. You are welcome in my heart and my home today! Amen.