Today’s reading: Luke 1:57-66
I don’t like waiting. I don’t like waiting so much that I would rather stand on a train for an hour than drive home from work and wait in traffic. I would rather eat half cooked toast than wait the 30 seconds for the toaster to do its job properly. I would rather have lukewarm coffee than wait for the jug to boil.
I don’t like waiting.
The passage today from Luke is about the birth of John the Baptist – the greatest of all the prophets. While the reading provides the backstory to the birth of John it is the story of his mum – Elizabeth – that is of interest this morning.
Earlier in the chapter we learn that Elizabeth and Zechariah were barren. They had been waiting a long time for a family and it seemed as if this blessing had passed them by. In those times (as it is today) infertility was a cause of great anxiety and stress. In bible times it was a “disgrace” to not be able to have children.
How many times over the decades had Elizabeth cried out to God to give them a child? Waiting. Waiting. Waiting! It must have seemed all hope was gone when the news finally came that she was pregnant with a son.
Waiting on the Lord
I have not experienced the pain of infertility however I know what it is like to wait on the Lord. I know many of you have too.
- Waiting for healing.
- Waiting for a job.
- Waiting for a life partner.
- Waiting for the pain to end.
- Waiting for a loved one to come to salvation.
- Waiting to finish school or the degree or the project.
- Waiting ….
The Lord gave Elizabeth what he gives to all who wait on him – hope and strength to persevere.
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
God can be relied upon to keep His promises – on time, in full, everytime!
This Christmas let’s remember that God keeps his promises. Israel waited for a promised saviour and God delivered in the most extraordinary and unexpected way and gave them (and us) Jesus.
This Christmas let’s receive hope – hope that Jesus will save us and provide all we need for today and for 2017 – hope for our friends and family who are lost and hurting – hope that Jesus will return again to make things right and call us to be with Him forever.
This Christmas let’s receive strength – strength and encouragement to persevere confident that our God is the Lord of history and He loves us more than we can imagine.