Joshua 4-6 Luke 1:1-20
“He will go before the Lord in spirit and power like Elijah. He will make peace between parents and their children and will bring those who are not obeying God back to the right way of thinking, to make a people ready for the coming of the Lord.” (Luke 1:17 NCV)
And so it begins. On this first day of spring we celebrate new life, and in today’s story, we see the announcement of new life as the angel tells Zechariah that he and his wife Elizabeth will be having a son. This isn’t just any son, mind you, this is one who is like Elijah. Somewhere around 33 years later, Jesus said of him that Elijah had truly come. At this point in time the angel lets Zechariah in on a secret that others wouldn’t know for a long time: his son would be the Elijah, the forerunner to the Messiah. In other words, the Messiah that the people of Israel had waited for so long to see, was coming soon. John’s job was to restore the relationship people had with God. One of the results of that was peace between parents and their children – definitely needed today.
There’s a difference between the way God works and the way we work – even, if not especially, Christians. God works through grace. He seeks to restore relationships. He wants to restore the relationship all people have with Him by forgiving sin. He wants to restore the relationships in families, among peoples of all kinds, knowing that when people repent, turn to Him, and draw closer to Him, relationships will be restored. (Just try praying God’s best for someone you hate and keep the hate going.) The human response to our differences is to seek an advantage and use it against other people. We drive a wedge between others if it will benefit us. We seek to be seen as superior to others. We’d rather be right than anything, especially if we can use it against other people to gain an edge. God’s way restores relationships with Him and with others. Our ways destroy relationships. If we really want to be ready for the coming of the Lord, we need to return to the right way of thinking – God’s way.
Lord, our world is fractured and divided right now. We pray for Your return. We pray that we would work to restore relationships instead of putting our own desires ahead of others.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.