John said, “[Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.” And so his birth is celebrated half a year before Jesus’, just as the daylight in the northern hemisphere begins to wane. Jesus honored John as being the greatest prophet. (Read the gospel story here.)
Almighty God, by your gracious providence your servant John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth and Zechariah. Grant to your people the wisdom to see your purpose and the openness to hear your will, that the light of Christ may increase in us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.