Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Choices We Make

Sometimes it feels like life makes choices for us.  It's not true, of course.  At the very least, we chose how we will react what life presents.  Sometimes we get to see how two different people react to the same situation - a psychological microcosm.  Before Christ's birth, Zechariah and Elizabeth were just such a study in duality.

The angel Gabriel announced to Zechariah that his wife, well beyond childbearing years, would have a son.  "Name him John." (Luke 1:13-17)  Ever practical, Zechariah demanded proof - of God's messenger - as if a swelling belly would not have been enough.  And for his doubt, the father-to-be was struck mute for the next nine months.  Elizabeth, on the other hand, acknowledged and praised God for the babe.  (Luke 1:23-25)  She had the honor of naming her son - not Zechariah as tradition would have dictated, but John.  And the pronouncement of the child's name loosed her husband's tongue again.  (Isn't he glad she listened and obeyed?)

Thirty some years later, as Christ suffered on the cross, two others had a choice to make.  Both were criminals.  Both we receiving their just punishment.  Each hung next to the Christ, all condemned to die the same horrible death.  One joined the taunts of the crowd, "Save yourself and save us!" (Luke 23:39)  The other acknowledged Jesus' innocence,
his own guilt and asked forgiveness.  (Luke 23:40-41)  Christ, ever the gentleman, even to death, gave each man according to his heart.  And that made all the difference.

May we all be wise enough to ask for what we really need this Christmas -
The child
The Christ
Our Savior

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