Have you ever been overwhelmed by thankfulness?
Almost two years ago Tahlia had a fall at Jells Park on a Saturday evening when we were out with our Gospel Community. She seemed ok, so we bundled her up and took her home. In the morning I headed off to church as usual. Later that morning Brian didn’t’ think she looked right, called a nurse, and then rushed her to emergency, calling me on the way. I arrived just as the doctors were coming in to share the seriousness of her injury with us. They said it was “lucky” that Brian had called a nurse and was attentive to the symptoms. We both knew luck had nothing to do with it. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for God’s protection over her, for the wisdom he gave Brian to seek advice, for the good advice of the nurse and the privilege of incredible medical staff. In that moment I couldn’t have been more thankful.
In today’s passage Zechariah responds to the birth of John with an incredible thankfulness and praise to God. He is thankful to God and gives him praise for three things. Firstly, that God has come near to redeem of his people (v68). Secondly, for the way he fulfils his promises of the past; in the covenant he made to Abraham and his promises to the prophets (v69-75). Finally, he speaks words of prophecy and expectation for God’s future actions (v76-79). He knows that God, by his tender mercy, will bring salvation for those currently in death and darkness. He has moved from being a man of doubt (1:18) to a man confident in the faithfulness of God and seeking to praise Him in response to his action in the world.
Sometimes when we hear the Christmas story we fail to respond with the same thankfulness and praise as Zechariah. We have heard the story so many times that we have become immune to the incredible act of God that it demonstrates! God sent his Son Jesus to earth in order to redeem those of us living in darkness and the shadow of death! Spend some time today pondering the incredible act of God and the way he is at work in the world to bring about his salvation plan! Spend some time expressing your thankfulness and praise to God in whatever way is appropriate for you!