Good morning, DearOne.
Have you been focusing on Scriptures surrounding the birth of Jesus during this Advent month? Familiarity of the events, combined with the busyness of the month, can often result in the story being skimmed over rather quickly. Please tell me I am not the only one guilty in so doing. Yikes!
In my desire to read and absorb the story anew, I have slowed down in my reading. Often, I read the same passage for a few days. I am amazed at the difference it has made.
Zechariah, husband of Elizabeth, and father of John the Baptist hit a fresh place. I knew he was the priest who served in the Temple, when the events were to begin to unfold. While in the Temple, he was visited by an angel who announced that he and his wife would soon have a son. Both were quite old in age, probably past the age of childbearing. Zechariah questioned the angel and was struck dumb for the length of the entire pregnancy.
The baby was born and they named him, John, just as the angel had requested. It was then Zechariah’s speech returned and he spoke for the first time, giving a prophecy about the coming Savior.
Here is the “aha!”: I seemed to have overlooked until recently … Zechariah also prophesied over his own son …
“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 of their sins.” (Luke 1: 76-77, NLT)
How have I missed that?
John was too little to comprehend all that was being said over him. But Elizabeth and Zechariah himself heard and understood every word spoken. They raised their son with the constant awareness of his identity and how God was going to use him.
My children are grown now and I truly pray that I have spoken words of affirmation and encouragement to them while they were living at home, like my mom and dad did for us. As parents (and grandparents), may our words be life-giving, helping our children to know God and His ways. May our words cause them to grow in the awareness that He has a plan which He has crafted just for them.
“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” (Proverbs 16:24, NLT)
But here is the thing … we, their parents, need to hear our words as well. Our words will remind us:
-Our children are precious and made in the image of God.
-They are a treasure, entrusted to us for a season.
-God has a plan for their lives which He will fulfill.
-We will be held responsible for our parenting (grandparenting, too!)
-And we will also be responsible for the words we have spoken.
-Our children are the ones who will carry on after we are gone.
Right there in the midst of a familiar story lay a parenting lesson!
Speak truth and honey.
Share constant awareness.