It seems like we are in the Christmas season. There has been quite a bit of snow coming even in March, and plenty of white on the ground to remind you that winter is still present. We are now reading Christmas stories. We come to the passage of the Birth of John the Baptist. It is a long chapter, but since it is a story, the boys follow along much easier than before. We have also read this passage during Advent season, so again it is easier for them to understand.
After reading the whole passage, and I ask them if they can retell the story. We reconstruct the story again, so I know they understood the storyline. I ask them if Zechariah and Elisabeth’s story reminds them of another old couple who didn’t have a child. Then Ian remembers Abraham and Sarah. Abraham and Sarah were also very old and gave up hope for having a child. But God gives Abraham a promise that his descendants will be like the stars in the sky.
This story is a story of hope. And the reason why it is a story of hope is because God always keeps his promises.
The theme of barrenness goes throughout the Old Testament. Women who are barren are suffering with shame and desolation. But God remembers them, and delivers them from their suffering by giving them a son. In the case of Elizabeth, even though it seemed like she has given up on her hope, it is evident that this miracle of a son is a deliverance of her disgrace. (v. 25)
As we are inching closer and closer to reading about Jesus’s arrival, we remind ourselves that Jesus is the true hope. For the Israelites in that time, they were giving up hope that the Messiah will ever come, but God gives them hope and prepares their hearts through John the Baptist.
(The short version is reading only the story part. Read Luke 1:5-15 & 57-66)