Monday, December 21, 2009

John's Birth (Section 4c of the Nameless Luke Advent Thingee)

God’s Ancient Promises

It’s Christmastime, but this passage has us looking ahead a little bit – to Easter. More specifically, the language in this passage is rich in allusions to God’s deliverance from Egypt, the Exodus. And it looks forward to a new kind of deliverance through the Messiah. Read it from Zechariah’s perspective of being in between two great events – the rich history of God’s deliverance that defines who you are as a people and the expectation that God will once again deliver through a Messiah.

Read Luke 1.67-75

There’s anticipation of what is upon them. The Messiah is coming. But it isn’t an anticipation without history. God promised it long ago. Read Isaiah 40 to get an idea of the promise and the hope. God was going to rescue them.

There’s one more point to highlight in this passage. (Actually, there are several, but we’re trying to keep this kinda short.) In v. 74 Zechariah is excited that they will be rescued to be enabled to serve without fear. That’s the same language as Exodus (“let us go so we may worship”). Worship and service overlap and they are the purposes of rescue. Not self-fulfillment, not getting to heaven someday. We’re called to serve and worship the God who rescues us.

In this season of celebrating the Baby born in Bethlehem, be sure to celebrate the purpose of His arrival. To save people from their sins. To make us free.

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