Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13

Luke 1:68-79
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who  hate us-
to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
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,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

From questioning to praising.  Zechariah had questioned the angel who brought the news that he would be a father after so many years of desiring and trying.  He was old, it was not possible, but an angel said it was going to happen.  He asked “How can I be sure?” and his punishment was that he would not speak until his son was born.  A son with a special job to prepare the way for the promised Messiah.  Zechariah had many long months of waiting in silence.  He could only listen when Mary came to visit his wife Elizabeth and to share their miraculous pregnancies.  I’m sure the women smiled and laughed and cried.  They were hormonal after all!  And Zechariah could not contribute.  But I bet he learned some great lessons during that time.  I would imagine that he learned how to express the joy of the world in one smile and the sympathy of grief in an embrace.  When God opened his mouth again his heart bubbled over in praise to God.  

Zechariah was a priest.  He knew the Old Testament inside and out.  He knew the prophesies of Isaiah.  Throughout Jesus’ ministry we see the priests and church leaders are the ones who do not believe He is the promised Messiah.  It took God turning Zechariah's life upside down not only through having a baby in old age but months of silence.  And Zechariah got it.  He understood the purpose of the coming Messiah, to forgive sins.  For some acceptance of Jesus comes easy.   We were taught as children and believed from a young age.  For others it takes time.  It takes God turning your life upside down to understand your need for Him.  If you are like Zechariah, you have questioned and struggled to believe, choose this day to accept God’s gift of Jesus and then praise God for the salvation of His Son.  

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