From: Rachael Bailes
Think with me what it would have been like to be a neighbor of Elizabeth and Zechariah the priest. We are there on the eighth day after this miraculous baby boy has been born to our elderly friends. We are having a special gathering for his circumcision and to hear the name revealed. We are excited, but we fully expect the son to be called Zechariah, after his father. We are shocked to hear Elizabeth say that they are naming him John and we all look to Zechariah, trying to ask him what he thinks. We are amazed when he picks up his tablet and writes the name, John. We are even more amazed, though, at the miracle that happens when our neighbor’s tongue suddenly starts working and he can speak. We are all wondering “What then will this child be?”
This is the setting for our reading today in Luke. Zechariah is able to speak for the first time in 9 months, and the Holy Spirit gives him a prophecy to speak. Importantly, the first thing he does is bless the Lord for visiting and redeeming his people, and then he points to the coming of Christ (just as his son, John the Baptist, will do). He then remembers the covenant God made with Abraham, and the call for all people to serve in holiness and righteousness. Only then does he speak a prophetic word over his son. John will prepare the way of the coming Lord. He was born only 3 months before Jesus. Even in his birth, Zechariah is saying on behalf of John, “Our salvation is coming. Look ahead!”
“The sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79) Let’s walk together in His light.
I live in Brighton with Jonathan and have the joy and challenge of caring for and teaching our kids (Elizabeth, Charlie, and Lucy).