Advent Devotion, 11/30/22
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
Because I grew up in the Bay Area of California, I love the Golden State Warriors. In recent years, we have been very successful. But before Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were winning championships, we had Barron Davis and Stephen Jackson giving us losing years.
In 2007 I was in college during what Warriors fans call the “We Believe Year.” That year we barely made the playoffs but somehow beat the number one seed Dallas Mavericks. Heading into a game three matchup with the Utah Jazz, we were the underdogs who were slower, shorter, and had no business winning anything.
I remember it was finals week, so I was sitting in my college library streaming the game while attempting to finish my assignments. I was clearly distracted. In the third quarter of the game, the Jazz were roaring back from a multi-digit deficit when suddenly our very short point guard dunked on their very tall center. It was an impossible sports moment that left the commentator speechless until he finally said, “So do you believe now, Warriors fans?” It is a moment I will never forget because I felt like I saw the impossible happen there on my computer screen.
I was never a part of any of Jesus’ miracles here on earth, but I’m sure it was a little like what I felt as a sports fan in that library. The impossible was a reality. What couldn’t be done had happened. So much of Jesus’ life was miraculous and it had to leave those who witnessed it with an undeniable sense of awe. Our passage today is the reflection of a miracle. It is honest and true. It is something that should bring life and hope to our lives.
Friends, do you believe that our God can do the impossible? How does, or how should it, change how you live and see the world around you? If, like Zechariah, you were to write a song about what God has done in your life, how would it sound?
God, you are with us every day. We recognize your presence and seek to be a part of what you are doing in the world. Lord, empower and convict us this day in all that you have for us. Amen.
ADVENT PLAYLIST SONG
“He Comes,” The Porter’s Gate, “Advent Songs”