Thursday, December 10, 2015

Way Back: Luke 1:5-14

Dear Christa—
Way Back to the Beginning: Luke 1:5-14
Luke was serious when he said he investigated “from the beginning.” His account takes him even before Mary is pregnant with Jesus.
Zechariah and Elizabeth were both descendants of Aaron, the priestly line in Israel. Luke tells us they were “upright in the sight of God.” They were older, and in all their years they had not been blessed with a baby. Though disappointed, they were not bitter. They did everything good Jewish people did in living out their devotion to God.
As Zechariah was performing his duties in the temple, unexpectedly, the angel Gabriel appears before him. I don’t know what angels look like. There must at least at times be some kind of distinction, for their first words tend to be something to alleviate fear. Gabriel names him by name—“Zachariah.” That’s significant.
We are not lost in a sea of people. God and the angels know us by name. God even knows the number of hairs on our head. He knows us. He knows who we are, not as a mass of humanity, but as individuals with names. And, He knows our pain.
“Zechariah, your prayer has been heard.” How many years had they prayed for a child? How many years did it appear that request had fallen on deaf and unresponsive ears—yet it had not.
Zechariah and Elizabeth would have a son and he would be a “joy and delight” to them.
No prayer, no matter how long we pray, goes unheard. Isn’t it easy to give up hope and assume that God will not move on our behalf? Yet, Zechariah and Elizabeth didn’t stop praying, and they didn’t stop following God.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

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