As we’ve been going through the gospel of Luke, we’ve found that God seems to go out of His way to turn expectations upside-down. Our passage this Sunday is no exception, as we finish up chapter 1, verses 57-80.
The fantastic promise made by a cosmic sentinel has come true, Beth has given birth to a son. As the relatives and friends gather to comply with the Law of Moses, part of the circumcision ceremony entailed the naming of the child. Everything is going along just fine until this detail…then it all goes out of whack. What details seem abnormal in this bit of the story? Why would it matter what name the child had? As you think about your own role in life, and your identity, what does this story tell you about tradition and custom?
God seems to delight in highlighting the losers. In this gospel, the people of destiny are not the high profile people, they’re not the ones the world has esteemed as important…they are the outcasts and has-beens. They are people willing to take the risk of looking ridiculous in the eyes of their neighbors, because they know that something big is in the works.
Zach breaks out in another song (clearly, Luke was wanting this to be the musical version of the gospels), which delights in God’s fulfillment of a promised Savior, and then of his own son’s role in setting the stage for Him. Zach, again, seems to take the typical nationalistic view of the Messiah’s work, but as he speaks about his son, the premise seems to shift from those normal expectations…and its more about salvation, forgiveness, mercy, light and peace. Enemies WILL be overthrown, but the last part of the song gives us a clue as to how.
The last verse of the chapter sums up John’s life in one sentence. What is it about him that is NOT normal? Obviously, John had a unique ministry, and we wouldn’t use him as a pattern for our own lives per se, but there are principles inherent to his life that we may want to consider as it touches our own journey with God. What could we learn from John’s lifestyle, and apply to our own?
See you guys Sunday!