Wednesday, December 21st. Luke 1:67-80

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel. Luke 1:67-80


We finally put our Christmas tree up.  I’d like to say that we have been observing Advent in our home…which we have…but the delay in putting up the tree had more to do with the fact that I didn’t feel like cutting it down from the rafters of the garage and no one else mentioned it.


We finally got around to it last night.  Now that it’s up, it is triggering memories.


Time for a confession:  I was a horrible “waiting for Christmas” kid.  There was a series of years in there, I’m thinking through my junior high years, when I just couldn’t stand the suspense.  So I peeked.  That I had to manufacture surprise when I opened the gift didn’t seem to bother me at all.  But then I learned to appreciate the suspense and I haven’t peeked at a gift in decades….really, I haven’t.


Yes, all that we pour into celebrating Christmas is a cultural distraction.  Yes, it helps us work our way through the longest and darkest nights of the year.  But there is something much deeper going on.


Waiting.  Anticipating.  Expecting.  Hoping.  These are all powerful emotions that run deeply in our lives.  Advent and Christmas trigger them all.  And each of these emotions grow out of faith.


Because we trust God, because we believe the promises of God, we live in faith, in expectation, in hope.  Because we believe God has been trustworthy in the past, we yearn for God to keep his promises in the future.  Our memory of a child born in a stable is our anticipation of a God who will one day reveal himself again in glory. So we wait in eager suspense.


Zechariah waited for a lifetime.  He knew the stories from the past.  He knew the promises of God.  He waited a long time but never gave up.  While he had no way of anticipating the present God had in store for him and Elizabeth, when the time came Zechariah saw the connection.


I saw a tree in our den this morning.  I saw some presents.  Thank God that I can also see the connection – to a tree, to God’s presence.


Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, like children we see Christmas just around the corner.  We pray that, like Zechariah, we can see the connection between the promises you have made, your trustworthiness and our trust.  May we live in joyful anticipation, ever ready to be surprised by what you might be up to.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


3 Responses to “Wednesday, December 21st. Luke 1:67-80”

  1. Randy Nelson Says:

    Joyous mystery. Singing “Silent Night” in Dec. 1970 with 20,000 other G.I.’s at the Bob Hope Christmas Show in Long Binh was beyond my understating. A joyous mystery.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Wonderful devotions from Pastor Kerry as usual but the presence of an advertisement required considerable concentration while doing the prayer! Maybe it was a test from above.

  3. NC Grandma Says:

    Thank you Pastor Kerry for another thought-provoking devotion. I look forward to seeing what you will say each day.

    Wish you joy as we celebrate Christ’s birth once again this Saturday.

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