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.