“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” – Isaiah 35:10
The people of Israel had been waiting a long time for the messiah to come. For centuries they had prayed for a deliverer. What’s more, they had been promised by God that this messiah would come. Though occasionally a strong national leader would arise, the messiah they were not. Then Zechariah, a priest of the temple, receives a prophecy and their world changes.
Most people this day will be frantically preparing for tomorrow. They will be cleaning, wrapping, and doing some last minute shopping. The reality is that God heard what we and the people of Israel needed a long time ago and responded by sending us the greatest gift of all, the gift that these days commemorate; the gift of Jesus the messiah. Of all the gifts you have this holiday season; none will be of greater value or longer lasting than Christ.
The Reverend Ryan Beaty serves as the chaplain of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Educated at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Reverend Beaty also serves a local Assemblies of God congregation here in Houston.