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Hopeful Prophecy

Yesterday, I came across this passage in Eugene Peterson’s “Eat This Book” while reading it for Holy Yoga . . . Struck me deep within.

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Since it’s been several years since I’ve observed Advent, after reading this quote, I’ve decided to journey through the Book of Luke.  One Chapter a Day for 24 Days.

I’d love it if you would journey with me.  Today we’re in Luke Chapter One.

I’ve pondered over this chapter since this morning.  It’s full of great stuff – a lost priest, a couple of announcements, two pregnancies, and a Hopeful Prophecy.

If you’re not familiar with Advent, it’s a season of waiting.  Waiting in anticipation of the Christ Child.  It begins the Liturgical Church Year in Western Christianity.  The First Sunday in Advent is accompanied by lighting the Hope Candle – which I learned today, also means the Prophecy Candle.  {Still need to get my Advent Wreath!}

How appropriate we begin Advent this year with reading Luke Chapter One!

Within these words written, we find Luke, not a member of the Jesus 12, writing to Theophilus an accounting of all the events of Jesus’ life so that he, Theophilus, would know that what he was taught was the Truth.

However, these words not only read The Truth, they bring a Hopeful Prophecy that if not distinguished between nouns and verbs will be missed.

It’s the Hopeful Prophecy of the calling on our lives and what we’ve received.

I could go though each section of Luke Chapter One but there are study Bibles, Bible Studies, and Theologians (for I am not one) who can explain the inners and outers of this chapter better than I can.

What I would like to do is share the Hopeful Prophecy with you.

We begin with the lost priest.

Zechariah, being from the division of Abijah, was chosen by lot to enter the Temple of the Lord and burn incense. (Luke 1:5-9).  After a while, Zechariah did not return so the people praying outside were wondering about his delay in coming out not realizing that Zechariah was being visited by Gabriel.  (Luke 1:10-21)

Zechariah receives the first of two announcements – “You and Elizabeth are going to be parents!!!!” And here we have the first gender reveal party! It’s a Boy!!!!

Finally, Zechariah comes out and I guess I would be speechless too if I had been visited by an Angel {though his silence was punishment}. He finishes his service time and heads home to Elizabeth with some very unexpected news.

Meanwhile, Mary has received the second announcement by Gabriel:

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:31-33, ESV)

Woah . . . this is the Hopeful Prophecy we have all been waiting for and Mary knows it.  Her words while visiting Elizabeth prove it . . . “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, . . . He has shown strength with His arm . . . He has filled the hungry with good things . . . He has helped His servant Israel . . . ” (Luke 1:46-55).

This Hopeful Prophecy will be fulfilled in about nine months.

Two announcements – two pregnancies – two boys.

You see, just one of the pregnancies brings The Hopeful Prophecy – Jesus. This doesn’t discount the call on John’s life, the Hopeful Prophecy of the call that prepares the way for the Lord – the one prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3, John 1:23).  The one that we today are called to live today – to give knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins (Luke 1:76-79).

It’s this call – this Hopeful Prophecy – that prepares the way for the Lord – The Hopeful Prophecy {which we find fulfilled by the time we finish with the Book of Luke}.

I believe this is what Eugene Patterson meant when he said that “word of God is not my possession” – other than the meaning he writes about in his book. We are to give it away – tell the Good News to others – Prepare the Way for the Lord to fill the hungry with good things – to give knowledge of salvation to His people – to let them know that the Prophecy they Hope for has been gifted to them – there’s no more waiting . . . He’s here!  Hope was born – and now we Wait for Him to return – a Hopeful Prophecy.

{Join me tomorrow in Luke Chapter Two}

 

 

 

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