The Birth of John the Baptist
Luke 1:57-66, 80
As we celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist our first lesson we learn is from Zechariah and Elizabeth. What we learn is at times it takes a long time for God’s plans to unfold. In the time of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the Jewish culture looked at childless couples with great shame. God told Adam and Eve to “be fertile and multiply.” A childless couple would be looked down upon in their community. However, we see that Zechariah and Elizabeth continued to pray, and trust themselves to God’s care and his will. We can only imagine their joy when Elizabeth gave birth to a child especially a boy, someone to carry on the legacy. The name John in Hebrew means “gift of God.” But you might imagine their great disappointment when John grows up and takes off for the desert and does not marry. Leaving Zechariah and Elizabeth with no grandchildren would once again bring them shame from their, friends and family.
How often in our lives have we had to wait for God to act? Or, we act for God to act and it is not the answer we were hoping to happen. At this point, we only have two choices: to become bitter and cynical or to hold fast to our trust in God and his mysterious design. We need to remind ourselves, God does answers prayers, but God does it in three different ways. There is the simple “Yes” from God which we all prefer. There is the answer from God of “Not yet” we don’t like this one because it requires more faith and trust. Finally, there is the best answer, and that is “I have a better plan.” In this answer, we do not get what we asked for, but God in his wisdom has a better plan which will be more fulfilling than our plan.
If I had to leave you with a message, it would be the lesson of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and that is God’s plan “B” is always better then our plan “A.” May we all wait on the Lord and know his will for our lives.