What's the longest time you've ever gone without talking? Can you imagine going nine months? That's exactly what happened to Elizabeth's husband, Zacharias.
When Gabriel appeared to Zacharias in the Temple and told him Elizabeth would have a son, he asked how he could know this would really happen (cf. Luke 1:5-18). Gabriel answered, "Thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed" (Luke 1:20). It wasn't until eight days after the birth of their son John that he was able to speak again (cf. Luke 1:59-64). When he did, he was full of praise for God. Read Luke 1:67-80.
In this song, Zacharias describes both Jesus (cf. vv. 67-75) and his own son, John (cf. vv. 76-79). Notice the fourfold ministry of John. He would be the forerunner of Christ (cf. v. 76; Isaiah 40:3). He would "give knowledge of salvation" (v. 77). He would preach repentance (cf. v. 77; Luke 3:3). And he would introduce the Savior (cf. vv. 78, 79; John 1:29).
While John filled a very specific role in God's plan, his ministry may serve as a pattern for us—especially at Christmas. Many of you will find yourselves around friends and family this week, some of which may not be believers. Whether out of fear or timidity, we may stay quiet about our own faith (not for nine months like Zacharias, but for the duration of the visit). However, this is a perfect opportunity to engage those around us with the Good News of the Christ for which the holiday is named.
Here at CrossPoint Church we are praying that you will take advantage of the opportunity to share "knowledge of salvation" (v. 77). This can be as simple as answering a question that someone may ask you about your faith or offering a biblical perspective in conversation at the dinner table. We are praying that you will preach repentance—not condone, participate, or laugh at sin but rather set an example of holiness and purity. And like John, we are praying that you will have the chance to introduce someone to the Savior!