In the passage today that we are reflecting upon, we see Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, praise God for what God is going to do through his son. We know from the story of John the Baptist, that he was a man that, shall we say, lived outside the norm.
John lived away from it all, and he lived a life with a singular purpose – to point the way and prepare the people for the coming of Christ. He was the baptizer, out by the river, calling folks to righteousness, calling them to repent, calling them to follow the path of God.
And calling them to get ready for the one that would save the people from their sin. Calling them to salvation.
Why? Why did John do this? Why did God call him to this, and why did God give Zechariah and Elizabeth at their advanced age this child that would grow into this man? Listen to what Luke says in Luke 1:74-79:
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
We see – because of His tender mercy. Because of His mercy, God gives light. Because of His mercy, God gives hope. Because of his tender mercy, God gives the freedom to serve.
Look at what it also says in verse 74 – we might serve Him without fear.
God desires today that you serve Him, but not out of fear. Out of love. Out of grace. Out of His tender mercy. He loves you. He gives His son for you. He gives us each folks pointing the way to Him.
And He wants us to respond. To serve. To love. To care. To obey. Because of the tender mercy of our God we have been given grace and salvation.
And He wants us to serve Him without fear. Today, and each day, may we do that!