June 20. Luke 1:39-80
We moved forward to the gospel of Luke today but backwards in time. Today we got to enter into the joy and wonder of two people who were used by God to bring Messiah into the world and announce him to the world! It’s hard to fully grasp what it meant to Mary and to Zechariah when they realized that God was doing a miraculous miracle in their lives and that the long awaited Messiah would actually arrive during their lifetimes. Even more astounding, each of them would have a front row seat to His birth and beginnings.
Mary’s Song of Praise is magnificent. Her awe and wonder that God would choose her is beautiful. Her focus on God and Who He is makes it easy to see why she was chosen. She doesn’t spend her time worrying about how it’s going to affect her wedding plans, does she? She is not consumed with fright over the judgments that will fall upon her from neighbors who will absolutely not believe she was a virgin when Jesus was placed in her womb. Nope. She is just all about God and His magnificent plan! Mary points us to the God who shows mercy to His people and who notices the poor and lowly.
Zechariah’s prophecy is also stunning. Zechariah’s start into this plan God had for him was a rough one. He wasn’t at all sure he could believe what the angel told him, that his wife Elizabeth, now past the age of child-bearing and barren, would bear a child. So, Zechariah was struck dumb for the entire length of Elizabeth’s pregnancy and had much time to reflect on the wonders of the God who is really there. Present with them and present with us, today. When he is given back his voice, Zechariah, like Mary, lifts it in praise to God! He proclaims God as Savior, Rescuer, Merciful, Tender, Forgiving, Redeemer, Most High. Again, Zechariah’s focus in prayer is God. He is thrilled that his son will be used by God, but the first part of this prayer/prophecy is all about the God who saves. We need to make sure our prayers include plenty of praise and adoration. When we too quickly start with our requests, we forget to bask in the wonder of Who God is! There is much joy to be found in worship. Our confidence grows when we recite Who God is and praise Him. Let’s start with praise when we pray.
My verse: Luke 1:76 “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High because you will prepare the way for the Lord.”
My response: When I hold a grandchild as an infant, I look with wonder and I ponder, “who will you be, little one?” But Zechariah actually knew, when he held John, who John would be. I can’t imagine holding an infant—my own child—and knowing their future was to point to Messiah. Oh, the awe! They must have raised John so carefully!! Lord, thank you for this glimpse into this father’s heart as he beheld the miracle of his first born son in his old age.