Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Announcement #1

I read Luke 1:1-25 today. It is Christmas, so naturally I love reading those related passages in Scripture. So here is how it goes down...

Zechariah is at work. An angel named Gabriel appears at his job site. Zechariah feels fear. So, the fear thing at seeing an angel. Isn't that so human?!! I can relate to that response. The angel addresses that fear with "Don't be afraid." That's good. Would I snap out of it that easily?

Anyway, the angel goes on to say "For God has heard your prayer and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son!" Were there other wives? OK. Not the point. The prayer may be referenced in v. 25. So the angel goes on with the specifics: call him John, no wine because he'll be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth, and his work will be to turn people to the Lord.*

Zechariah listens to the "good news" and questions immediately. Oh, so human! The part where we all flee to the facts in the face of faith..."How can I know this will happen? I'm an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years." And then the angel silenced him for a few months. So there.

Then he goes outside where the people have been waiting for him. And he can't speak. "They then realized from his gestures that he must have seen a vision." Now picture that! There's a round of Charades not to be missed. I can just imagine that non-verbal communication.

I can also relate to God answering my prayer and me being surprised or questioning. Oh, brother. Humans!

Anyway, God is amazing.

*I'm curious to think more about why "no wine or hard liquor" is connected with being filled with the Spirit. I am also curious about the concept of "turn" people to the Lord. When I turn, I change my direction, my focus, my view. That sounds nice and an invitation to something else. It doesn't sound like that's a condemnation.

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