Friday, December 20, 2013
A long time ago there was a fellow named of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth. Now by this time both of them were getting a little old, and seeing how they didn’t have any kids, and to be honest they kind of figured they weren’t ever going to have any. Well Zacharias worked in the temple and it was his turn to go in the Holy of Holies to light the incense so it would be pleasing to the LORD. Only one person at a time was allowed in there. Well just as he got in there he noticed he wasn’t alone; there stood an angel of the Lord. To make a long story short, the angel told him that he knew he had been a faithful follower of the Lord, and as a reward for his faithfulness the Lord was going to reward him with a child. And furthermore he would name his son John.
Now you got to remember that Zacharias was old, I’m not sure how old, but he and his wife were what you would call way past child-bearing years. And of course old Zach kind of felt somebody was pulling his leg or something. But the angel, who was Gabriel, told him basically since you don’t believe me you be mute till the birth of the child. And he was, and when he walked out the temple, when he couldn’t speak, the folks around knew something had happened, but he just couldn’t tell them what.
Well indeed his wife became pregnant, and on the day of the birth all the relatives gathered round, and you know how it is, everybody’s got a name they feel like should be the one for the baby. But each time they came up with one, Elizabeth would say “No his name will be John.” Finally they got to asking Zacharias, he had been just sitting over there, not saying much, because let’s face it, he couldn’t. Well finally someone got around to asking Zacharias, and he made a sign for a tablet, and on it he wrote, “His name is JOHN.” And from that moment on Zacharias could speak.
I guess what got me to thinking about old Zacharias was a sign I saw last week they said was up in New York City. It said “Who needs Christ in Christmas, NOBODY.” Why would somebody want to put that up there? If there wasn’t a “Christ” in Christmas then if you really think about it, there wouldn’t be a Christmas.
Old Zacharias, he didn’t believe he was going to have a son, that was impossible, but he did. And do you know who his son grew up to be? John the Baptist, also known as the forerunner of Christ. John would say that there is one coming that I’m not even fit to tie his sandals. And he would quote from the book of Isaiah: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord. Make the paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low: the crooked places shall be made straight, the rough ways smooth: and all flesh shall see the salvation of the Lord.”
Why was he doing this, maybe John learned something from his Daddy about not believing what the Lord told him? But why does it really matter to us in this Christmas season, this season of gift giving and happiness? Well that’s where that sign kind of got to me. If we take Christ out of Christmas, what are we really celebrating, nothing, period?
For you see John spent his life proclaiming the coming of the Messiah, and we as Christians, when we celebrate Christmas not only are we celebrating his coming but his birth, death and his resurrection. And to us, to take Christ out of Christmas, would be denying the truth.
The truth that Christ was born on Christmas Day to save all sinners, and no matter how hard some folks try to change it, they never will.
MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Bruce’s.
Robbin Bruce may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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