Zachariah’s prophesy

Then Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy.

“Give praise to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to visit his people to redeem them. He has brought forth a mighty king from within the house of his servant David to save us, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago – someone to save us from the clutches of our enemies and those who hate us. He has shown mercy to our ancestors and remembered his holy covenant that he swore to Abraham – to rescue us from the hands of our enemies and make it possible for us to serve in the presence of God freely and without fear, with holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives.

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Mighty One, for you will prepare the way before the Lord, by teaching people how to find salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.

Because of God’s great mercy and compassion, a dawn from heaven is about to shine upon us, to give light to those who live in darkness and suffer in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the ways of peace.”

The child grew and became strong in the Spirit, and he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to the people of Israel.

LK 1:67-80

The birth and naming of John

The time arrived for Elizabeth to give birth to her son. The word spread quickly to all of her neighbors and relatives about how merciful God had been to her, and they celebrated with her about her son’s birth.

Eight days after the baby was born, at the circumcision ceremony, everyone thought that the child was going to be named Zachariah after his father, but Elizabeth protested, saying “No! He will be called John.”

The guests said to her “None of your relatives has that name, so why would you name him that?” They motioned to his father to find out what the child’s name should be. To everyone’s surprise, he wrote “His name is John” on a piece of paper.

Immediately he was able to speak and he began to praise God. All of the neighbors became greatly concerned, and the news of this unusual occurrence spread throughout the hillside of Judea. Everyone who heard the news thought about it very deeply, saying “I wonder what this child will become?” They could tell that the hand of the Lord was with him.

LK 1:57-66

Poem “Fat”

These days,
the fastest way
to discredit
a woman
is to call her “fat”.

Years back,
it was “mentally ill”.
Years before that,
the word was
“witch”.

Remember?

You can silence people with these words.
But people
only silence
the ones
who
make noise.

Being called a name like
fat,
or mentally ill,
or witch
means you are onto something
means they are scared of you,
of what you have to say.

Don’t be silent,
and don’t be
scared,
afraid,
angry
at those words.

Those words are a sign
that you are
on the right track.

Mary praises God (The Magnificat)

Mary then said, “I proclaim the greatness of God from the depths of my being, and my spirit rejoices in God who is my Savior, because God has looked with favor on me, a lowly servant girl. From now on every generation will call me blessed because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is Holy. God’s mercy is eternal for those who respect and honor him. He has done mighty things with his arm – he scatters those who are proud, he has overthrown the rulers and lifted up the meek, he has provided a feast for the hungry, while sending away the rich empty-handed. God has remembered his promise to be merciful and has helped his servant Israel, just as he promised to Abraham and all of his descendants.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth until just before John was born.

LK 1:46-56

Healer vs. Doctor

I once saw a medical program on TV where a woman had tendonitis in her thumb. She had a young child and every time she picked him up she used her hand in a certain way that caused her thumb to repeatedly experience stress. On the show, the doctor gave her a steroid shot in her thumb to fix the problem.

The real issue though is that he was simply being a doctor. Doctors fix the symptom. Healers fix the problem.

If he wanted to be a true healer, he would have shown her different ways of using her hand so that she would never ever have that problem again. By being a doctor, and addressing only the symptom, he ensures that in the future she will experience the same problem again and thus need to seek him for help again. She will again get a shot and again not be any better in the big picture.