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
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
(Luke 1:76-79 ESV)
We know that John will preach the Good News of Jesus and we know that Jesus will bring salvation. The cause of all of this is down to the character of our triune God. He is a God of love and he has tender mercy. This is a beautiful verse. Not only does the Lord have mercy, but it is tender and his mercy is tender to those who are in darkness, in death and are sinners. His tender mercy is for the weak and the suffering, for all those who call on the name of the Lord for salvation.
This is a God who brings forgiveness and mercy. A God who sends his Son to earth to take on flesh and walk in our footsteps and die a death for us. He is a Son who calls out to the weak and helpless to come to him because his mercy is tender and will bind up their broken hearts and offer them comfort.
“Like as a mother comforts her children, even so does the Lord comfort His people, and like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear Him. My Lord is as gracious in the manner of His mercy as in the matter of it. Glory be to His name! O sinner, come to the gentle Jesus and live”
Christmas is about the tender mercy of the Lord.