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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Spirituality: The Birth of John the Baptist is Announced.


Zechariah’s story encourages me. It reminds me that I’m not the only one to fail to recognize God’s guidance even when it is given to me on a plate, and that however stubbornly I fail to respond, God’s purposes will not be deflected on that account. Elizabeth’s child is going to come into the world, whatever his father may think about the possibility. It is Zechariah, and not God, who is disempowered by his refusal to respond to the guidance he is given.

I am encouraged too by the fact that the disempowerment was not permanent. Just as the infant John would need nine months’ gestation before coming to birth, so Zechariah is also given a time of gestation in which his response can grow and ripen into the whole-hearted “Yes” expressed in the moment he writes on the tablet, “His name is John.” God will wait for our response and will wait for as long as it takes.

Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this?”

When you got up this morning, you had no idea what the day would bring. But you probably chose to take a chance on it, and not go back to bed. God invites us to take a chance on life too, without knowing where God’s guidance will lead us. To the extent that we can say “Yes”, we will discover the next step along the way. To the extent that we hold back, we will get stuck where we are, until we are ready to move on again. How do you feel about the response you want to make to God in the light of the challenges today will bring?

Lord, I can’t see the bright sunlight of your leading, because my eyes are focused on the little candle of my own thinking. Blow out the candle if you must, and give me the grace to see your light in my darkness. Amen.

Source: Margaret Silf, Lighted Windows; An Advent Calendar for a World in Waiting, pp. 18-19.

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