Advent Devotional: Thursday, December 20

Theme: Making Room for Hope

Written by Christopher Williams, First Congregational Church of Fresno

Luke 1:67-80

Parents have goals and expectations of their children. From the moment they are born we see children as unfinished pieces of work that need nurturing and direction and we receive a great sense of pride with their accomplishments.

There exists a story that after Michelangelo had carved the statue of David he was asked how he was able to craft such a masterpiece, to which he replied “The sculpture was already complete within the marble, all I did was chip away the edges.”

What we have to remember is that what we want for our children and what they do may not always be one in the same. God has a “dog in this fight” as well.

In the story of John the Baptist, his father Zechariah was singing a song of praise during John’s circumcision (which is apparently a thing people did in those times). During this song Zechariah spells out God’s plan to have John become the prophet “Most High” and prepare the way for the coming of the Lord and preach salvation and forgiveness to the masses. That’s a pretty tall order to be sung at an infant having their foreskin removed.

Zechariah had the advantage of being informed about John’s future by not just any old angel but the Archangel Gabriel himself. Most of us are not as lucky as Zechariah. We will blindly guide our children, try to get them interested in careers we want for them (astronaut/doctor for mine), and hope for the best.

Just remember that your plans and God’s plans may differ. After all, they can’t all be astronaut/doctors.