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. (Luke 1:76)

VINCE’S MOM GRIMACED as she watched her son get tackled and piled upon by football players once again. None of his team’s defensive players were skilled enough to help him. None of them, that is, until Teddy joined the team. Teddy worked hard on defense to block the opposing team and make it possible for Vince to go the distance and score touchdowns. When Teddy’s coach tried to award him the team’s MVP his first week there, he refused it, asking that it go instead to Vince for his endurance. Vince had done nothing to deserve Teddy’s selfless act, but Teddy wouldn’t have it any other way.

Zechariah rejoiced in the hope his son would bring to the world. John the Baptist would prepare the way for Jesus, the One who would enable people to receive God’s favor even when they’d done nothing to deserve it. John would challenge them to face each day with courage because Jesus, their defense, was soon coming to make it possible for them to go the distance and reach their heavenly home.

Rejoice in knowing that Jesus prepares the way for you to go the distance.

Sandy Haney has been an elementary school teacher for over twenty years. She and her husband, Marty, have two grown children and two grandchildren.