“He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord” (Luke 1:17b, NLT).
A lot of the fun of Christmas takes place before the day itself. The decorating, shopping, baking and anticipation of time with family and friends makes it a month long celebration. Of course, it’s best when time is also spent in quiet reflection of the real reason to celebrate. If presents and a big dinner are the grand finale of all the preparation, the month can end in a let down, especially if you’re the one stuck doing the clean-up.
God prepared the way for his Son to enter the world as one of us and as it was his plan from before time began, everything in history pointed and led up to that pivotal moment. He used prophecies, parallels, types, a sign and then right before Jesus’ birth, the birth of his cousin John, who was born to, as The Message says, soften the hearts of parents to children and kindle understanding in the skeptics. Jesus’ birth was the grand finale but not the end of the story. It was the beginning of the end of the Old Covenant, soon to give way to the commencement of the New Covenant of grace and forgiveness for all.