Luke 1:63-66, 80
He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.
Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.
John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.
"By this question, and by that concluding reference to the child's life in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance, Luke's story forces us to contemplate what the child, in fact, became: John the Baptist, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord!'"
As John, who cried 'Prepare' to Israel, was the messenger of that first appearing, so john is the messenger now of the reappearing, the Second coming of Christ!
Still, still he cries: 'Prepare!'
Are we listening?
W. Wangerin Jnr, Preparing for Jesus
Although similar to an earlier piece, I wanted to bring the empty manger into a more modern setting, inspired by the final question from the author of the Devotional.