Look at me go! Blogging 3 days in a row! That's unheard of for me, these days! I had really forgotten how much I need this outlet. It brings joy to my day to sit in a state of reflection.
I'm staying true to my word about reading the Christmas story from Luke 1-2 over and over again. This morning, I really focused in on the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth from Luke 1. I've always been kind of intrigued by the fact that Luke didn't just start with the angel, Gabriel, visiting Mary. While the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth conceiving in old age is important, it just seemed like it could've been put somewhere else. It's a good thing I wasn't responsible for compiling the Bible. :)
On to God's revelation to me today-
Luke 1:6 describes the couple - "Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord's command and regulations." If the word righteous sounds "churchy" to you, don't let it phase you. It simply means "lived rightly". They lived in a way that pleased God. Wow! I certainly hope the same could be said for me.
But then, if you keep reading, in Luke 1:20, the angel Gabriel says to Zechariah, "But now, since you didn't believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time." The one who lived in a way that pleased God, failed to believe what He said. He was punished for his unbelief.
This was an aha moment for me! It illustrates the very reason why bad things happen to good people. This important question is one that keeps people from following Jesus. When, in fact, the answer lies right in His Word. Though we try our darndest to live rightly, we fail. We will fail every single time. We are full of sin and unbelief, and for that reason, there are consequences.
The real gem in all of this is that the location of this story of Zechariah's unbelief comes right before the birth of the Savior. It's one more reminder of the reason that we NEED Jesus in our lives. Despite the fact that we do our best to be righteous, we WILL fail. Jesus has come to pick us up when we fall.
God, thank you for the way that you've orchestrated the sequence of your Word. It has purpose. And, thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, at just the right time to rescue us from our unbelief.
Making a Merry Christmas - Tip #1
For the next few posts, I will be offering suggestions for adding joy to your holiday season.
TIP 1: Steal a few daily moments alone for a reality check. Get up early or stay up late, but find a quiet time when you can sit in a peaceful place and dedicate your holiday to worshipping God. The photo below shows my spot for this season. I've moved from the office chair to the living room recliner. I love to worship God as I gaze on the glimmering tree lights. I make sure I have a tasty warm drink and a cozy blanket, and I just sit and ask Him to make me aware of Him, His gift, and His work as I go about my day. Try it! You might like it. (: