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Finally, we get to John—John who was predicted in Malachi, John who was just born in Luke 1, finally arrives in Luke 3. This is the guy! This is who we’ve been waiting for! What novel idea or message can we expect?
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Holy One, help us name our expectations for this day, and guide us to wisdom on how to align them with your possibilities. Give us courage to go into the wilderness. Amen.
The prophet Malachi speaks of a future day when God’s messenger will come to prepare the way for the Lord. The Lord will then purify the people and restore proper worship of God. Christians believe that John the Baptizer was this messenger, preparing the way for Christ. In Luke 1, the Holy Spirit fills Zechariah, John’s father, who proclaims that the fulfillment of God’s promises to their descendants has begun. Luke continues the story of John in chapter 3, describing John’s ministry of calling people to repentance. They need to prepare the way of the Lord in their own hearts, thus fulfilling Malachi’s prophecy. Paul in Philippians focuses not on the advent of Christ but on the ongoing power of Christ’s presence to make us blameless and righteous in God’s sight.
• Read Malachi 3:1-4. How have you experienced the refiner’s fire? What was your experience?
• Read Luke 1:68-79. At home and work, are you usually the first touch, the second touch, or the third touch? How so?
• Read Philippians 1:3-11. How could you make expressing your gratitude to others a habit?
• Read Luke 3:1-6. How are you preparing the way of the Lord? What crooked paths are you helping to make straight?
Respond by posting a prayer.
Emmaus helped me laugh again, and it brought joy back to my life after the loss of my child. I am now stronger than ever in my walk with the Lord. And to this day, I continue to sponsor pilgrims to The Walk to Emmaus. In my local church, I have led our discipleship team and have had the opportunity to start new Sunday school classes and various women’s ministries. ¡De Colores!”