Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent 1.1 -- Zechariah and Elizabeth: Righteous Before God

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:5-24, 39-80

Background: The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is one of my favorites. I return to it several times a year -- but especially at Christmas time. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I am named for the Biblical Elizabeth. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Elizabeth is famous for one thing -- being a mother -- and I too want to be a mother someday. Whatever the case, this true account of events leading up to the birth of John the baptizer -- and ultimately the birth of Jesus Christ -- continues to challenge and inspire me.

My thoughts: Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous before God. The Bible says that they walked blamelessly in the commandments and statutes of the Lord. My first thought is this: I want my life to match this description. I want to follow God in such a way that when I grow into my old age, people can look back at my life and see the consistency of a life lived wholly for God. So how can I be more like the woman I was named for? How can I be a modern day Elizabeth?

I must know the commandments and statutes of the Lord. I must follow them. It is that simple. It isn't easy, but it is simple. I can't be righteous on my own; I must rely on God's forgiveness -- the forgiveness granted through the life, death, and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. He makes me blameless in God's sight. But I have to want it. Zechariah and Elizabeth spent their lives in the service of God. They gave their lives over to Him. I too must desire that righteous life and serve God with everything in me. I want my life to glorify God.

Now, we don't live a righteous life for some perceived list of rewards. A blameless life may not always look the way we think it should look. ...but more on that later.

1 comment:

Robert said...

"...and see the consistency of a life lived wholly for God." That's a nice turn of a phrase.

I know consistency doesn't mean perfection, even though that's what we should be striving for. Consistency probably happens when we are tender-hearted and humble before our God.

Zechariah and Elizabeth were sinners in need of grace, so walking "blamelessly" would make me think they earnestly sought after God during the times of their lives.

It's a good lesson. Thanks, Elizabeth!