Women of Christmas Devotional #6

by Kathy

Women of Christmas Pic

 

If you are reading the book Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs, read chapter 5

Luke 1:57-80

Excitement and anticipation builds the closer you get to a baby’s arrival and then the moment comes and the baby is born.  Oh the joy!  I remember all my family and friends filing into the room at the hospital to see each of our children after they were born.  Friends and family gathered in Elizabeth and Zechariah’s home too, sharing in the joy that this old, childless couple had a son at last!  Think about it….to wait so long and not lose hope!  Keep hoping and praying, my friend, for the things that your heart longs to see happen!

Eight days after Elizabeth and Zechariah’s son was born, the time came to circumcise him and announce his name.  Their house was full of people.  I laughed a bit as I read that the visitors got involved with naming the baby and wanted to name him after Zechariah, his father.  Not sure why they did this.  Was it because Zechariah couldn’t speak?  Naming a son after the father was not custom for Jewish people to do.  It was considered to be arrogant.  Liz Curtis Higgs offers a possible explanation that the people might have feared Zechariah would not be seen as the boy’s father and wanted to quell any rumors before they stated.

Imagine for a moment the scene in Elizabeth and Zechariah’s home and all the guests giving their input into naming this child.  Picture Elizabeth tired and exhausted from being up throughout the night with her little one.  Her body had just participated in a miracle, but she was still a older woman beyond childbearing years and feeling every bit of the physical drain on her body!  Yet, she stood strong, honoring God and with gusto said, “NO! He is to be called John.”

Her relatives didn’t seem to convinced that her choice was a good one, so they began to make sign gestures to Zechariah.  I can see Zechariah motioning for someone to give him a writing tablet.  Did the whole room hold their breath in anticipation as he wrote out the baby’s name?  To everyone’s astonishment, he wrote  – “his name is John.”  I don’t think this is what they expected Zechariah to say.  Then, Zechariah did something that probably surprised them even more.  He talked!  Scripture tells us that immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free!

For nine months this man’s tongue had been silenced.  His first words were not greeting those around him, telling Elizabeth how much he loved her, taking baby John in his arms and telling him all the things in his heart for his son, or explaining why he had been unable to talk (and perhaps hear).  His first words were shouting out praises to God.  Not only was he a priest, his words conveyed that God had given him the ability to prophesy as well.  He foretold the Savior was coming to rescue and redeem them, guide them in peace, and announce that his son would be the one to go before the Lord and prepare the way for His arrival.  How proud and ever so humbled Zechariah must have been!  How thankful he must have felt that all the Old Testament prophecies were coming true for him to see!

 

Let’s Pause for Heart Application

Consider what we have seen in all three characters in the story…Elizabeth praised God.  Mary praised God.  When Zechariah’s mouth was opened, he praised God!

Stop and ask yourself this –  What words are coming from my mouth?  Are they words that express self focus, exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, anger, frustration, anxiety, or worry?  If you are feeling this, can I share with you how it can be different…how you can find your way out of this expressive pattern?  By simply, praising God!  When we start praising God for all He is – for all He has done – for all He is doing (good and difficult) – there is little time for worry or whining!

Oh that this would be our heart’s prayer today ~

Lord, I want my thoughts and words today to please you.  Thank you for being my Redeemer!  Thank you for all the good and difficult stuff I am going through.  Thank you for being the One that I can trust and lean on.   Lord, I choose to think thoughts and speak words that are pleasing to you.   Lord, as I think on things that are lovely, pure, right, and praiseworthy, fill me with more of your presence so that my mind….attitude…and actions change to reflect You living in me.  Lord to you alone be the praise and the glory for all things in my life!

Here is a beautiful song sung by Fernando Ortega.  After listening to it, spend some time in worshipping and praising your Redeemer.  The song is based on Psalm 19:14 – “May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

 

 

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