Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord
Scripture: St. Luke 1:57-66 (NKJV)
57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. 59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 So they made signs to his father — what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And the hand of the Lord was with him.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest thing of which any of us can speak. It is the most valuable gift that God has given mankind. We have been given the promise, the history, the fulfillment, and the on-going testament of the Lord’s salvation for us in the flesh and blood of Christ Jesus crucified.
The Word of God’s gracious works was brought to Zacharias, but he stumbled in believing them, so his silence was used to bring even greater glory to the speaking of these words. John, his son, would also go on to be tremendously valuable in the proclamation of God’s Word. John would be faithful and devoted, even to the point of martyrdom, to the message of God’s salvation in Christ for us.
As we live as part of Christ’s Church we also face similar situations. If we mock the holy kindness of God by doubting His Word, we run the risk of being struck mute in the presence of the Church by being placed under discipline and kept from receiving the Lord’s Supper. We are prevented from proclaiming Christ’s death in partaking of the Supper because our willful sinfulness and rejection of His Word cause our proclamation to be tainted and skewed. So we are made silent until we repent. But in the fullness of God’s time, we may have our voices returned as our hearts are made repentant and humble. And even in the silence of church discipline, the lessons from God can still be heard as the need for repentance and His Gospel assurance of life and forgiveness are to be taken seriously and not doubted.
We pray: Lord God, thanks and praise to You for Your mercy shown to us in Jesus Christ. Make us always faithful in the proclamation of Your kind forgiveness in our crucified Lord. Amen.