Advent Day 21: The Playlist
Today's Reading: Luke 1:67-80
“Hey Siri, play Country Christmas in the kitchen.”
It’s a brave new world when you can talk to your house and tell it to do things… and it does. I can listen to great music all day, and if I don’t like something I can say, “Hey Siri, skip”. I love to create a playlist and watch how it can add to, or even change, the energy of the day. The right music at the right time/quality/volume sure beats the silence and can bridge just about any transition.
Speaking of transitions, today’s scripture reading is one where I needed to back up and re-read the last few verses from yesterday (Luke 1:64-66). As you may recall, Zechariah had been silenced by God throughout Elizabeth’s pregnancy for his doubt, and his speech was restored upon the naming of his son John. And as John Harvey shared in yesterday's post, Zechariah IMMEDIATELY began praising God! Now in today’s reading, we find him continuing in that spirit of praise.
But let’s go back and read yesterday’s last verse (Luke 1:66) together with the first verse from today (Luke 1:67), “Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy.”
While Zechariah had been sitting in silence, his friends were just going about life. Now THEY are wondering, questioning, and possibly even opening the door to doubt. How would Zechariah respond to them?
“Hey Siri, cue the dramatic transition music.”
He doesn’t skip a beat. He sings out (I have to believe there was music involved) a refrain of praise for who God is and for what He has done, followed by a confident proclamation of exactly who this child will become. I picture him gazing straight into baby John’s eyes as he tenderly says, “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins.”
As he holds this miracle baby and answers the question of his friends, I don’t hear any lingering doubt, no pre-thinking his answer based on what others might say. No, THIS Zechariah has been through the months of wintery silence, his personal playlist of doubt and confusion. THIS Zechariah knows that he needed that silent, empty space for him to be able to hear God - not to just think about God - but to really HEAR Him. THIS Zechariah will never forget that the Holy Spirit, the very spirit of Christ, met him in that empty place, took up residence, and filled every fiber of his being until there was no room left for winter. It was the power of THIS Spirit that enabled Zechariah to move from doubt to confident belief… to CHRISTmas! This child, HIS child, Elizabeth’s child, would prepare the way for the Lord!
Are you sitting in a winter of silence, fear, or doubt this Christmas? Are your thoughts swirling in confusion? There is an enemy who wants you and me to be stuck shivering in that cold, dark place. But will you join me in saying “Hey Siri, skip?” Will you join me in cueing the transition, and inviting the Spirit to set a new playlist, one that fills you with complete confidence in the future that HE has planned and is waiting to guide you through?
Even though I do love me some country Christmas music, I know from experience that HIS playlist is always better than mine.
“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).
Light and peace AND a merry country Christmas to you, friends!
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