December 23 Thursday
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
68 ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior* for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us 74that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon* us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’ 80The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.