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Merry Christmas!  It is the most wonderful time of the year because through Jesus Christ God is Emmanuel, or “God with us!” Our Christmas sermon series is Finding Home for Christmas and the sermon for this week is Detours. Detours are very annoying during a road trip.  They generally snarl traffic and if they are poorly marked, you may even get lost.  Even with a GPS, detours can make the most confident traveler anxious!  Unfortunately, life has its own kind of detours.  We may plan to go to a particular school but we are not accepted.  We may plan to get married but the relationship falls apart.  John Lennon said “Life happens while you are busy making other plans.”  Life happens whether we are prepared for the change or unprepared.  In our lives detours can be either good or tragic.  They can be a moment of wonder or a moment loss.  How can we get through these confusing and uncertain times in our lives?  We return to the story of Zechariah in the Luke 1:67-79.  He has spent over 9 months in silence because he did not believe the Word of the Lord through the angel Gabriel.  We know very little about how he passed these months but there is no doubt that this time changed his life in many ways.  It is obvious in our passage that God gave Zechariah this quiet detour to increase his faith and strengthen his spirit.  Instead of finding confusion, fear, and uncertainty, God gives him praise, hope, and joy!  It is our hope that as you are going through this Christmas season, despite the misdirection, messed up paths, and misplaced signs, God willbring you home to him.  It is our most earnest prayer that as you read Luke 1:67-79 that your spirit will be strengthened and your heart infused with the joy and glory of God! Luke 1:67-79:


His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us– 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.