December 9, 2018: Tender Mercy
TEXT FOR SUNDAY, December 9, 2018:
“In all my distress and persecution
I turn my eyes to the heavens
and confidently await as judge the very One
who has already stood trial
in my place before God
and so has removed
the whole curse from me.
All His enemies and mine
He will condemn to
but me and all His chosen ones
He will take along with Him
into the joy and the glory of heaven.”
– Heidelberg Catechism 52 (1563)
Two things jump out at me regarding the story of John the Baptist. The first is that the first words of Gabriel (God’s messenger) were “Do not be afraid”—the first words of the Gospel spoken from God.
Second, is that Zechariah was not only mute, but apparently deaf for the duration and more of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. A little silence goes a long way. His hymn of praise is one of the most beautiful in the Scriptures.