14 day plan

The Birth of Jesus

Day 5 of 14

Luke 1:23-25

When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

Reflection: Luke invites us to share a secret. After Zechariah’s return home, Elizabeth becomes pregnant. Let the reader understand. This is no virgin birth, yet this conception, while the answer to God’s promise to Zechariah, is also an integral part of the Lord’s plan for his people and the coming of his Messiah. And we know what even Elizabeth’s closest friends and neighbours did not know for five months. For five months she is alone with the silence of her speechless husband and the quietness of her own thoughts, which are filled with thankfulness to the Lord as she finds rest in his favour.

The Lord’s goodness is specific, yet also diffuse and folds all manner of people into it. The experience of his favour has something to do with recognizing him as Lord. In his gift of his son, and his messenger John, the Lord takes away our shame and our sin, and in so doing also graciously removed the shame of a once-childless woman of the first century. How diffuse, and yet, how personal.

Are you surprised by the kindness of the Lord? Does your surprise sometimes melt into the gentle rest of thankfulness?

Prayer: Dear Father, you are kind. And in your mercy and kindness you have offered us your salvation. Help me to respond with thankfulness.