Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 December 2016 Luke 1:76.

Luke 1:76.   And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. 

Oh friends, it’s Christmas Eve, the day before the big one – Christmas Day, when we joyfully celebrate the birth of our most wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Glory to God in the highest for selflessly blessing us with Jesus Christ! 

But yuh know what, is not everybody that celebrating this Christmas time nuh. I heard today that another of my U.W.I (University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica) classmates, Dwight Venner died yesterday. Ah Lord eh! He is at least the sixth one that I know about, who has died this year. Steups! 

And all of them were around my age yes. That certainly brings your own mortality to mind. But you can’t do anything about it nuh, just keep on doing what the Lord has called you to do and hope for the best. The only thing we’re really sure of in this life is that someday the Grim Reaper will come a calling and we’ll go whether we want to or not. 

So I’m asking us on this Christmas Eve day to pray for the Venner family in their time of grief. I believe he was from St. Lucia, and just ask the Lord to comfort them in their mourning when they should be celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s not easy to lose anybody at all, much less at a time like this. 

Let’s also remember to pray for Keith, our Scrip-Bit family member, who is slowly recovering from his stroke, and comfort him too while he mourns the loss of his departed brother. 

Remember, as James says: ‘Confess your faults (trespasses) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual (effective) fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man availeth much.’(James 5:16) Yeh friends, prayer is the greatest power we have down here on God’s great earth, so please let’s use it often and wisely nuh. 

Now I have so much scripture to share that I only have space for one of our friend Anselm’s quotes today. And I had a hard time choosing one, because they were all interesting, they all can inspire us for a better tomorrow.  And this is the one that finally won out: ‘Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.’ 

And that’s no lie my brethren, all those qualities are very important parts and qualities of our Christian life! Now since John the Baptist was Christ’s cousin as well as His forerunner and harbinger, I thought this Christmas Eve would be a good time to check out John’s early story, as we will do tomorrow for Christ. 

This brings us to our Bit: ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.’ Those were the prophetic words of John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, at his circumcision. Now our God is such a dramatist that sometimes I have to shake my head in wonder at His doings. 

Remember how he made Zechariah dumb because he didn’t believe that his barren wife Elisabeth would eventually bear him a child. (Luke 1:5-25) And also how He brought Mary and Elisabeth together and caused John to jump for joy in his mother’s womb when he heard Mary’s voice, and the three months the women spent bonding together. 

Let the Good Book tell us the story: ‘Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins (relatives) heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her, and they rejoiced with her. (Her barrenness was no longer a cause for reproach). 

And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zechariah, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. 

And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings (things) were noised abroad (discussed) throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all they that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.’ (Luke 1:57-66) 

Oh my people, there’s no better dramatist than our God! And to add to that drama, the scholars tell us: ‘1:65. Fear came: The working of God produced a unique sensation among a people where not even a prophet had spoken for centuries.’  

And after that, Zechariah just went mad prophesying, making up for all those months that he’d been dumb. Filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophetically declared. ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation (A Mighty Deliverer) for us in the house of his servant David. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all them that hate us;’ (Luke 1:68-71) 

I have to leave out four verses here because of lack of space. But then Zechariah continued with our Bit. ‘And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission (forgiveness) of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring (dawn, Messiah) from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing (manifestation) unto Israel.’ (Luke 1:76-80) 

Ah friends, yuh see the amazing power and dramatic expertise of our wonderful God! And that was child’s play to how He brought Jesus on the scene. (smile) We’ll talk about that tomorrow, the Lord willing. Till then, may he bless and keep us all safe and sound and cause us to enjoy the celebrations of the birth of His only Son, Jesus! Much LOVE!

…who is greater than our God eh…NOBODY…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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