In our bible story Zechariah won the lottery. He didn’t win cash, but something much more important to him.
There were so many special signs that raised expectations for the future of this child. The once in a lifetime service at the altar, the appearance of an angel, Zechariah losing his voice, the pregnancy of Elizabeth in her old age. Among the rich promises made about John it was said he would be Great in the sight of God; A prophet of the Most High; be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth; Bring people back to God; Minister in the power and spirit of Elijah; Heal generational conflict in families; Bring the disobedient to wisdom; and Prepare people, making them ready for the Lord.
These events and promises leading up to John’s birth amazed people, and they asked, ‘What then is this child going to be?’ For the Lord’s hand was with him.” (Luke 1:66) People in the city and in the countryside were talking about this special child. Here were amazing promises and prophecies. There was hope of forgiveness, salvation, tender mercy, peace, light and guidance.
What difference does this make to us today?
The faithfulness and prayerfulness of Zachariah and Elizabeth, give us a model of faithful prayer. Like them we should be a church that prays.
When he was older John the Baptist began a revival of faith that sent ripples of the gospel grace through history. By preparing people for the coming of Jesus, he laid a foundation that benefits us. He also gave us a godly model of faith and courage as he pointed people to Jesus. We can apply what we learn from him to the mission God gives us. As he pointed people to Jesus, so to we can point people to Jesus. As he invited people closer to God, we too can invite people closer to God.
Last year, as a church, we spent time considering what it means to be a redemptive family. That is a church family in the business of salvation. This year we have the opportunity to build on what we have begun as a redemptive family. BBQ church is a great time for us to try the discover others challenge, be an invitational church and grow as disciples of Jesus.
What does it mean to you that God hears your prayers?
What inspires you most from this story?
How might you help point someone to Jesus this week?
Rev John Malcolm