Luke and The Lost
We had searched for a home to purchase for our growing family for over a year. We would bid on “just the right house” we thought would suit our needs. Each time the deal would fall through. Our budget was slim so we look mostly at “fixer-uppers” before the show became popular many, many years later. We prayed earnestly but nothing seemed to come together…until we gave up. We prayed for God’s will.
Then one day I caught an obscure ad in the paper for new homes being built for lower income couples in a smaller town outside the area we had been looking. We were intrigued enough to check it out. We fit all the criteria! We moved into a brand new home in a few months, just in time to start our first child in Kindergarten, in the school district where, later I would get my first job as a teacher. Clearly God was in this. Wow.
This is only one small story of God’s Hand on our lives. Our kids are grown with kids of their own. Randy and I taught them to rely on God for all things. I still pray for them daily to clearly see God and His work in and around them. I can testify that there isn’t one challenge in our journey that God’s Hand is not in it. Clearly God is in every day we live, one day at a time, one step at a time, “down the path of peace.” We have to get out of the way sometimes, stand back and watch Him do His work, recognize Him and obey His leading. He is always at work while we worry and fret. He is God and we are not. So, we trust Him. We live for Him. He lives in us. He has never failed us. We follow where He leads because He knows the way, even in the dark.
I love how Luke writes the story of God’s Hand on Elizabeth and Zachariah! What a testimony of the work of God in their lives, in their community and ultimately to the world! They have given birth to the forerunner of Christ! All of the community around them were in awe…of God, not the older couple who just gave birth, exclaiming, “Clearly God has his hand in this.” The focus was back on God! How this must have pleased God!
“What will become of this child?” Zachariah and Elizabeth had tried for years to have a child. In their old age, they gave up this dream. Then God intervenes revealing HIS plan. When God told this mature, childless couple that they were going to give birth to a son, they were skeptical. Because of their doubt, God closed the voice of this priest until the birth. Zachariah got back on track with God’s plan, went against tradition of giving the baby the “family name” and named him John. With obedience to God, his voice returned.
The Holy Spirit comes over him, whose will is now bent toward God completely. Zachariah glorifies God with testimony of His greatness and power. “He (God) set the power of salvation in the center of our lives.” The Holy Spirit speaks through Zachariah, proclaiming the coming of the Messiah! Clearly God.
Read and think about all the moments in time, in our lives, when clearly God had His hand in it. ALL the time, maybe? Mm.
Luke 1, The Message
The Birth of John
57-58 When Elizabeth was full-term in her pregnancy, she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives, seeing that God had overwhelmed her with mercy, celebrated with her.
59-60 On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child and were calling him Zachariah after his father. But his mother intervened: “No. He is to be called John.”
61-62 “But,” they said, “no one in your family is named that.” They used sign language to ask Zachariah what he wanted him named.
63-64 Asking for a tablet, Zachariah wrote, “His name is to be John.” That took everyone by surprise. Surprise followed surprise—Zachariah’s mouth was now open, his tongue loose, and he was talking, praising God!
65-66 A deep, reverential fear settled over the neighborhood, and in all that Judean hill country people talked about nothing else. Everyone who heard about it took it to heart, wondering, “What will become of this child? Clearly, God has his hand in this.”
67-79 Then Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he came and set his people free.
He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,
and in the very house of David his servant,
Just as he promised long ago
through the preaching of his holy prophets:
Deliverance from our enemies
and every hateful hand;
Mercy to our fathers,
as he remembers to do what he said he’d do,
What he swore to our father Abraham—
a clean rescue from the enemy camp,
So we can worship him without a care in the world,
made holy before him as long as we live.
And you, my child, “Prophet of the Highest,”
will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
Present the offer of salvation to his people,
the forgiveness of their sins.
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.
80 The child grew up, healthy and spirited. He lived out in the desert until the day he made his prophetic debut in Israel.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for being with us…always. You are clearly God. There is no one like You. Nothing is too hard for You. Forgive our doubts when You act in incredible ways. Thank you for showing us the path of peace.
In Jesus Name, Amen