pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


5 Comments

Embrace Your Role

Reading: Luke 1: 76-79

Verse 76: “You will go on before the Lord to prepare a way for Him”.

Zechariah, like every other person living in Israel, was awaiting the coming of the Messiah. The Jews had been living under the thumb of the Romans and the harsh leaders they appointed. They long for a Messiah King to come and set them free.

When I think of bringing people to faith in Jesus Christ, I think we all want to be the closer. We want to be the one that hits the walk-off home run, the one who inks the big deal, the one who prays for the first time with one who has given their life to Christ. But for most of us, wr are the kids that shags the foul balls, the gal who ran off the copies of the big contract, the humble servant who lives a life that simply bears witness to the love and hope of Jesus Christ.

Zechariah had drawn the life time opportunity to go into the inner temple to burn the incense at the altar. When he was in the Holy of Holies the angel of the Lord appeared to him. “You will have a son!” was Gabriel’s message. The faithful and blameless but old and barren couple was to have a child! Clean-up batter is walking to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded. The pitcher throws a curve ball that doesn’t break. The pitch floats in, almost hanging there, right over the heart of the plate. The batter’s eyes get big. Nope Zechariah, not this time. Your boy, John, won’t close the big deal. He will not be the Messiah that you and so many are longing for. He will be the set-up man.

Zechariah embraces this role. He knows the Old Testament story. There has to be a voice calling out in the wilderness. John may not be the One, but his role is still super important. John will be “a prophet of the Most High”. Zechariah prophesies, “You will go on before the Lord to prepare a way for Him”. Read that line again: “You will go on before the Lord to prepare a way for Him”. This too is our role. We too are called to be the humble servant who lives a life that simply bears witness to the love and hope of Jesus Christ. Embrace your role. Live into your role today. That person you encounter today may never meet the Lord Most High if you don’t introduce them today. Help prepare a way for the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, may I be a great set-up man today. May all I meet be inched a little closer to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior today. May it be so. Amen.


Leave a comment

True Light, Eternal Freedom

In Isaiah 9 we find a passage that bridges the time in which he was writing with the time when Jesus lived with our time today.It speaks of what was, what is, and what will be.  By virtue of its timelessness, it is perfect for today.

Throughout time people have craved for light to shine in the darkness, for evil to be overcome.  Isaiah’s words, “the people walking in darkness have seen a great light”, bring hope.  He writes about breaking the yoke of oppression, of ending the foreign dominance.  In Jesus’ day it was the Romans on one level and the religious leaders on another level.  Today the things that oppress us vary greatly – from the self-imposed to things out of our control.  Forever and always we will long for freedom.

Into the midst of the oppression and the longing for freedom from all that burdens us steps the Christ child.  Tonight we celebrate Jesus’ birth – the entrance of the True Light, the arrival of eternal freedom.  Embrace these truths as we gather tonight to welcome Him into the world and into our lives.

Isaiah 9: 2-7


Leave a comment

Living into Reality

Do you remember a radical life change?  Maybe it was after your first job or after your first child.  Maybe it was after s divorce or the loss of a loved one.  For all of us change is inevitable.  It is also hard to change.

When change cones we can embrace it or we can resist it.  When we resist our new identity or reality, it is a struggle.  The resistance takes a toll physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

If we choose instead to embrace our new life, we begin to live into it.  Our new way of life becomes our new DNA.  We begin to become the person God intended us to be.

As we practice our new identity as Christians, we must embrace it.  Our call is 24/7.  Through the practices of prayer, worship, study, and service we grow into who God created us to be.

Scripture reference: Romans 6: 12-23