December 19, 2019
Scripture: Luke 1:76-77
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.
Thought for the Day: I love it when a person in scripture receives the company mission and runs with it. These are a portion of Zechariah’s words spoken to his son, John (the Baptist), when he was still but an infant. Most kids here from their parents, “What are you going to do with your life?” Zechariah did not need to ask, for he knew exactly what John was called to do. Now the great theological question presented here is: Did John have a choice? Did God respect his free will to say, “Yes” or “No” to this calling? I have such strong convictions around free will that I believe John could have said at any point, “I’m out of here!” For me, this raises the fascinating (though a little out there) question of whether there were other people like John who God had called before, but they had declined God’s mission and invitation? As I believe in a God who respects free will, then I have to believe there were plenty of NO’s along the way. I find that very challenging – on one level, if I fail, God will find another way. At the same time, how many people will live a little longer in the darkness because God had to go to Plan B, and it took some time to ramp it up.
Prayer: Provide me ears to hear and a spirit made available to what you are putting before me, O Lord. If I turn away from your invitation, I pray for forgiveness and your capacity to call another to serve. At the same time, provide me another opportunity, another chance to join the movement of your mission in the world. I don’t wish for anyone to spend another minute in the darkness of fear, grief, injustice, hatred, guilt or illness, simply because I chose to say NO. Amen.
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