We don’t often think of John the Baptist when thinking of Christmas. He doesn’t appear in the Christmas pageants or in our Carols yet Luke starts his gospel with a whole lot of the first chapter dedicated to the account of his extraordinary birth. Why? This account of Zechariah, Elizabeth and John provide the context and preparation for the Christmas story we are more familiar with. Unlike so many people, John the Baptist knew his mission in life. He knew that he had been set apart for a purpose. That purpose was to challenge the people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah by repenting and believing, by turning from sin and being baptised as a sign of repentance. More importantly, the story brings us back to the point that nothing is impossible with God. A barren woman becomes pregnant, a virgin is with child, a Saviour is born, Immanuel- God with us.
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