Doubting Zechariah

Luke begins his Jesus story by introducing us to an old man and an old woman. Zechariah and Elizabeth were faithfully serving God despite many obstacles to faith: barrenness, foreign occupation, national crisis, and the silence of God. It had been hundreds of years since Israel had heard or seen directly from God. In Zechariah’s day there was no glory cloud leading the way or manna falling from heaven. The walls of enemy cities were not crumbling, nor were there armies fleeing at the sight of angels. And there were no prophets bringing a fresh word from God for the contemporary moment. The evidences for God were in the distant past and his promises of an abundant future were beginning to fade from memory.

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The Chosen Ones

It is terribly easy to use the doctrine of election as a source of pride. Being called into a special relationship with the Almighty One is truly astounding. It really does set us apart from those who remain outside of this relationship. And it really does place us in a different category and gives us special access to our God. So how do we avoid the immense stumbling block of pride which so easily leaves us face-down in the muck?

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Waiting on Resurrection

“What misery is mine!”

So begins Micah’s lament for his nation. The prophet is miserable because he looks out on the people of God and can’t find anyone who is godly. It seems as if everyone has turned away from Yahweh and are descending deeper into wickedness. The light of God’s word had shone among them and they shut their eyes, turned their faces, and retreated into the dark.

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