May 21

Rev Gav

Promise

Luke 1:69-75. Trusting in the promises of God, especially when life is tough, is no easy thing to do, but trust is a decision of the mind and an act of will.

Luke 1: 69-75

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. 58 And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.

59 When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”

61 “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” 62 So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. 63 He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.

65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.

Zechariah’s Prophecy

67 Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:

68 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
    because he has visited and redeemed his people.
69 He has sent us a mighty Savior
    from the royal line of his servant David,
70 just as he promised
    through his holy prophets long ago.
71 Now we will be saved from our enemies
    and from all who hate us.
72 He has been merciful to our ancestors
    by remembering his sacred covenant—
73 the covenant he swore with an oath
    to our ancestor Abraham.
74 We have been rescued from our enemies
    so we can serve God without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness
    for as long as we live.

76 “And you, my little son,
    will be called the prophet of the Most High,
    because you will prepare the way for the Lord.
77 You will tell his people how to find salvation
    through forgiveness of their sins.
78 Because of God’s tender mercy,
    the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    and to guide us to the path of peace.”

80 John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.

Reflect

Zechariah’s song was about God finally intervening in a world of hurt and pain. The Jewish people were, yet again, oppressed by an occupying force. First it was the Egyptians, then the Assyrians, then the Greeks, and this time it was the Romans. Yet, God had made a deal with Abraham (the father of the Jewish people) and this promise was that the world would be blessed through Abraham’s descendants — through the nation of Israel — and particularly through the royal line of King David. When this happened, the nation of Israel would be rescued and forever made righteous before God, and God was about to come good on his/her promise.

Holding on to a promise when everything is going pear-shaped is not an easy thing to do. Zechariah and others like him were trusting in a promise made centuries before, contrary to the evidence in the world around them. Christians live in a similar hope, based on the promises of Jesus, that there will come a time when there is no more pain or suffering. They also believe that they are called to be part of God’s solution for the world in the here and now — to be God’s representatives ahead of that time.

Do

Do you find it difficult to trust in the promise of God for the world when faced with daily news that tells of war, famine, and poverty? Or perhaps, closer to home, do you find it difficult to trust in the promises of God when there is heartache and pain in your own situation?

Today, like flawed and ordinary Zechariah, make the decision to trust that, through Jesus Christ, God will come good on his promise.

Pray

Holy God
I trust in the promises of Jesus,
that one day he will return,
and all pain and suffering will end.
Until that day comes,
may I shine like a light in the darkness
and bring your love and peace to the world.
This day and for ever.
Amen.

Think

Why do you think people like Zechariah still hoped and trusted in God’s promises, even though everything in society seemed to be going wrong?

Tim Rogers May 31 20:37pm

Im moved by your article. Zechariah had faith . A faith i wish i had, but one im hopeful of finding on day with Gods grace.
I am seeing good and do believe that in my own life God and the holy spirit are doing the best they can. Is that awful to say ? I dont know.

Rev Gav Jun 3 12:03pm

Tim Rogers wrote:

Im moved by your article. Zechariah had faith . A faith i wish i had, but one im hopeful of finding on day with Gods grace. I am seeing good and do believe that in my own life God and…

I think God works with us... with our frailties... our brokenness. Therefore it makes perfect sense. x

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