Darkness permeates are time both atmospherically—the sun sets earlier each night for a couple more weeks—and ideologically. Terror attacks, racial profiling, xenophobia have flooded the news cycles recently. Rather than talk about this darkness (yet again) I wanted to share messages of the light with my congregation this week. This sermon comes is based on Luke 1:67-80.
[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]Photo Credit: Jibi from France via Compfight cc [/featured-image]
When I was a kid we used to play the game of who could be the quietest the longest. As every parent can guess, my mom would be the one to suggest the game on long road trips or even short jaunts to the store as we drove in our station wagon. My sister or a friend in the car would make goofy faces at one another to try to make each other utter some sound first. My tactic was to look out the window until someone else caved. We’d last a long time, at least two or three minutes, and would play a couple of rounds more. All told there might have been 5 minutes of silence—it was golden for some in the car, I suspect.
A good nine months of silence was endured by Zechariah. He happened to be a priest and, as Luke tells us, he happened to be the one selected by lot to make the offering of incense in the sanctuary of the Lord one day. As he went in to the sanctuary by himself, the rest of the assembly gathered outside waiting for him. In the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared. “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah,” the angel proclaimed, “for your prayers have been heard!” The angel went on to say, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Continue reading 3 Snatches of Light in the Darkness