READ : Luke 1:24-25, 57-61
The Lord has done this for me. . . . In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people. (v. 25 NIV)
Zechariah wasn’t able to speak because of his unbelief, but his wife made up for his silence because of her belief. After the child was conceived, she didn’t explain her pregnancy away as an accident, some sort of medical fluke. “The Lord has done this for me.” And at the birth, she testified again. When the authorities tried to give the baby his father’s name, as was customary, she spoke up. “No! He is to be called John,” as the angel had commanded. When Zechariah scrawled his agreement, his tongue was loosed and he praised God.
Elizabeth kept the faith, even at the end of her rope. She didn’t laugh, as her ancestor Sarah had, when she heard an unexpected promise. Elizabeth believed God and accepted his promise in spite of the commonsense evidence. As she said to Mary in verse 45, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished” (NIV). Thank God for women who dare to speak for God! Their husbands and children, their friends and colleagues, their churches and the world will rise up and call them blessed.
On this Sunday, let us rejoice with family and friends and fellow members of the body of Christ that God’s unexpected grace is greater than all our sin, suffering, and silent despair.
Holy Spirit, make us pregnant with hope today. Amen.