Well, now that we are in November and I'm working my seasonal job - it is just about Christmas time. I read Luke 1 yesterday and came across this prophecy by Zechariah that I don't think I'd really "seen" before. It is amazing:
"That we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 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."
The key part there is that He does all this (even giving John to Z & E) - because of His great mercies. It is not because of anything we do. Z & E were righteous and holy people, set apart for the work of the gospel, God visited them, gave them a child, all because of His mercy and grace.