What a sweet Sunday of worship together last weekend. After the opening hymn, the Yoon family brought all our focus together on a special moment as little E. led us saying, “let us pray”, and “amen”. The reading, “and a little child shall lead them…” (Isaiah 11) speaks of the promised baby Jesus. This week, the song “This is our God” helped us enter into the theme of the candle of Peace. He brings peace to our madness, and comfort to our sadness. This is the one we are waiting for! May that be our prayer this Advent season.
Pastor’s Note: The mute speak
The story of Zechariah in Luke 1:5-25 and Luke 1:57-79 is compelling on so many levels. Despite his skepticism regarding the promise of a child for him and his wife Elizabeth in their old age, the purposes of God still come to pass. John, their son was in fact born. John himself is the sign that the Messiah is coming after Him. So, while Zechariah’s unbelief didn’t affect the outcome, he sure did miss out of a lot of the fun (Luke 1:20): he couldn’t speak from that moment on until a few days after the birth of John. And the muteness becomes a sign in and of itself (Isaiah 35:5-6). Once Zechariah believes and writes down the name of John on a tablet, he is “filled with the Spirit” (the clear signal in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts that we are now in a new covenant and not in the old one anymore, cf. Acts 2) and prophesies about forgiveness of sins and how his son, John, will prepare the way for Jesus.
The big question for us from the ‘sign of Zechariah’ is, does our own skepticism about God prevent us from being fully involved in what He is doing? Do you dream about what God can accomplish in our lives, in the lives of others, and in the life of our Metro-west community? Or is your skepticism causing you to miss out on being fully involved in God’s kingdom breaking in? Elizabeth was “filled with the Spirit” during her pregnancy (Luke 1:41), baby John himself, “leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41). It’s only when his tongue is released to speak that Zechariah is “filled with the Spirit” and starts singing the praises of God. Zechariah learned the lesson and it’s recorded for our own sake as well. Don’t let your skepticism get in the way of the fun of embracing what God is doing! To be taciturn* is not a good quality in this particular context!
P.S. For those who listen to the sermon here or were in attendance on Sunday, as much as I would like to announce the opening illustration was a real prophecy, we do know the note was written very recently as a fun introduction to the history of our church. What is not in question, however, are God’s promises of faithfulness and fruitfulness for TCC, going back all the way to its founding in the 1820’s as “Evangelical Trinitarian Church” and prior to that, from the first puritan settlement in the 1600’s preceding the unitarian controversy of the early 19th century.
*there are many definitions of “taciturn” available: “untalkative,” “uncommunicative,” “unforthcoming,” “quiet,” “tight-lipped,” “habitually silent” and none of these apply to us when it comes the proclamation of the Gospel!