Sunday, 12 December 2010
Kairos Advent Devotional 2010 12th Dec
12 December 2010
Luke 1: 57 – 66
Decisions; decisions! How good are you at making choices? Special choices, especially when it comes to naming a baby. Would you consult books to find the meaning of a name? Or choose a family name,- one that’s been passed down through the generations? Or, perhaps, a popular name of the time, or place where the baby was born,-and in recent months we had an example of this with little baby Florence!
Reading this passage from Luke 1, you will see that this is nothing new! Elizabeth’s relatives and friends were just the same thinking her baby might be called after his father, - but, no! she says quite simply, ‘He is to be called John’ ( v.60). But they couldn’t understand this and thought it best to ask his father what name he wanted. Zechariah was still silent, but wrote down, to their astonishment, ‘His name is John’. This is a shorter form of Jehohanam meaning ‘God’s gift’ or ‘God is gracious’. Immediately Zechariah’s silence was broken. He had done as the angel had said, (v.13), and he began praising God for His gift of a son.
The people were amazed; filled with awe. There must be something special about this baby, they thought. What would he be? It was obvious the Lord’s hand was with him.
Contrasting emotions. Again we find disbelief in the choice of name; surprise that Zechariah chose the same name as Elizabeth; and awe. God at work in ways we least understand to fulfil His promises, made many years before, that He would send a messenger to prepare the way of the Lord, (Isaiah 40 v.3).
We ask, ‘What is going on. I don’t understand?’ Zechariah showed that he had taken note of what the angel said to him in the Temple, even though he hadn’t fully understood; that he was prepared to trust God’s word, after his initial disbelief, and doing this he was released from his silence.
Is there something for us here? That sometimes we need a period of silence in which to think over what God is saying to us and to be prepared to go along with His will whatever that might be. ‘God works in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.’
Lord, help me to remain faithful to Your least word of command, even when I do not understand what lies ahead.