Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Advent Devotional...Day Six

All Things are Possible

Quinn G. Caldwell

"Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. 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 will be filled with the Holy Spirit." Luke 1:13-15

An angel comes to Zechariah and announces an unexpected thing: he and Elizabeth, here in their old age--what some might call their declining years--are to have a son, a miracle of a boy, filled with the Holy Spirit, born for the rejoicing of the people and the purposes of God. Understandably, he responds with disbelief. But what is unexpected for Zechariah is nothing new for the God that caused creation to spring into being at a word, who birthed the whole people of Israel from barren Abraham and Sarah. Much has been made of "the decline of the mainline churches" in recent years. The membership numbers do point in an unhappy direction, and many have come to expect an equally unhappy future. But our God is the God of unexpected things in surprising places, the one who makes new life to spring unexpectedly from old bodies. And we are a people learning to expect the unexpected.

Prayer: Come, God, come. Open me to your Spirit moving in me and in my church. Teach me to expect the new life--the miracles--you are nurturing even now in the deep places of my life. Amen.

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