Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Christmas Thought

I have finally emerged from the shopping and the gift wrapping to write this blog.

That's about the only thing I'm caught up on. But as moms, are we really ever "caught up"? Not me! Dishes are filling the sink and the surrounding counter top area. Legos have taken over the other side of the counters. A girl can't even have possession of her own kitchen. Isn't anything sacred anymore???

I digress... Dishes will always be there and so will the Legos. (Oh, the Legos.) But Christmastime is rapidly approaching and will soon be past. So, I will take a moment to think on that.

There has been a scripture that has stood out to me this Christmas. It is something that John the Baptist's dad, Zechariah, said about Jesus.

Zechariah was an interesting man. He was a priest who became mute because he did not believe an angel that said his wife would become pregnant. Zechariah thought he was too old for that to happen. Can you blame the guy for his disbelief? I'd probably react the same way. (You can read his story in Luke 1:5-25, 57-80.)

Anyway, Zechariah was to remain silent until his baby boy was born. According to the angel Gabriel's prophecy, Zechariah knew that his son was going to be exceptional. He knew that his son would prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. And he also knew the baby was to be named John.

As the angel described, Zechariah remained silent his son was circumcised and named. As soon as Zechariah wrote that the baby's name was to be John, he was able to speak. Quite a story! Quite a punishment for not believing!

But that's not the point of this blog (thankfully). When Zechariah was able to speak, he had a prophecy of his own. It was like he had been gathering up his thoughts and storing up his words for the moment he would be able to speak again.

He had a prophecy about his son, John, but it is what he said about Jesus that I just love.
"Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace" (Luke 1:78-79).
I just love how this prophecy shares so much about God's character. First, God is merciful. I love how his mercy is described as tender. I just get such a sweet picture of God the Father from these words. Just like how a daddy tenderly loves his little boy or girl, that is how God loves us and has compassion on us. He didn't want to leave us alone or in the dark.

Second, these words describe Jesus as Jesus would later describe himself.  In John 8:12 Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." Jesus came to be our hope, a bright light in the darkness. He also came to light the way to God, for it is only through Jesus that we can see God and be saved.

Last, the prophecy says that this light, Jesus, will guide us to the path of peace. Jesus is described as the "Prince of Peace" in Isaiah 9:6. So how exactly do you find the path of peace? Know and trust in Jesus, for He is Peace. He came to give us peace. Jesus said, "I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid" (John 14:27). One thing I am sure of is this: we all need this peace. The world is scary and dangerous. Families are under attack. People are facing all kinds of diseases, stresses, and trials. Jesus came to be peace in all of these situations.

So as I take the time to think about Christmas and about Jesus, I let Zechariah's wise words wash over me. What a gift we have in Jesus!