Feb 19

Rev Gav

Thankful

Luke 1:23-25. There is something powerful about saying ‘thank you’ out loud to God.

Luke 1:23-25

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.

One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

11 While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12 Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. 13 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. 14 You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.”

19 Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! 20 But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the sanctuary, wondering why he was taking so long. 22 When he finally did come out, he couldn’t speak to them. Then they realized from his gestures and his silence that he must have seen a vision in the sanctuary.

23 When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home. 24 Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months. 25 “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.”

Reflect

Zechariah had encountered an angel in the temple who had told him that he and his wife Liz were going to have a baby. Zechariah headed home, and within a few weeks, he and his wife Liz had conceived a child. Liz then chose to hide away in her home for five months. I wonder why? Luke does not tell us her reasons. She would have known what had happened to Zechariah in the temple – the visit of the angel, the coming Messiah, and her baby who was to be the great prophet. There is no reason to doubt that she believed her husband — and of course, there was the sign that he couldn’t speak — and he was not faking that!

The chapter finishes with a wonderful quote from Elizabeth. God had answered her prayers at long last, and more than that, he had answered the prayers of the nation. She could not help but vocalise her gratitude.

Like Liz, there is something powerful about us saying ‘thank you’ out loud to God. It is one thing to think it but another to confess it with your mouth.

Do

Think of something you could be thankful for today. When you’ve got something, find a quiet place and say thank-you to God out loud for that thing.

Pray

Holy God
Help me to be thankful each and every day
for the good gifts you’ve given to me.
Although I don’t deserve it,
you’ve handed me a waiver and shown me favour.
You, Lord God, are a holy life-saver!
Amen.

Think

1. How can we express our gratitude to God for the good things given to us?

2. Why do you think Liz spent five months hiding away?

Lisa-Dawn Johnston Mar 9 10:01am

I think Elizabeth went into seclusion to avoid distractions and focus on her health and the miracle of her pregnancy. She understood the assignment. She understood what a precious gift her pregnancy was….after longing for a child for so long….

Lisa-Dawn Johnston Mar 9 10:04am

We can express our gratitude to God for the good things he has given to us….by sharing them…. Whatever they are… talents, peace, “things”…. Love…
Share them.

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