The word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins, as it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the Prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord: . . . and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Luke 3:2b–5,6)

The description of John son of Zachary find a parallel in John 1:6. The Baptist was sent by God with the mission of testifying to the Light. The perfect aspect of “sent” indicates that John’s sending and its effects were present in some way at the time of the writing.

John was sent to prepare the way of the Lord—to go before the one who would be God’s instrument of salvation. The one who penned John 1:6 saw that John’s commission would have a continuing effect that reached decades past the birth of the church.

The church too has its commission. This is seen in John 20:21 where Jesus sends the disciples. This commission is not a one time event but is continuous. On December 24–25, the church remembers the coming of the Savior and renews its commission to be a continuous witness to the Light.