Luke 1: 6-7
Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
‘Both of them (Elizabeth and Zechariah) were righteous in the sight of God’ (1;6)
I want to be righteous in the sight of God, but how do I take the next step in that direction? Jesus’ ‘great commandment’ tells me all the law and the prophets hang on two things: “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind and, “Love your neighbour” both are rooted by “as yourself”.
Whose opinion do you favour or dread? It’s easy to become a slave to the opinions and expectations of others, which can lure us into seeking to live the lie of trying to be someone else. I’ve found, whether it’s someone I look up to, or down upon, the end result is the same if I allow it to enslave me – whichever direction it comes from I can inhabit the lie of trying to be someone else. The end result is the same – denying the image of God in me.
We’re not told what other people thought of Elizabeth or Zechariah, but we are told all we need to know about them: Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly(1;6)
Who doesn’t want what Elizabeth and Zechariah had? If there’s a quiet, or desperate ‘amen’ resonating in your heart, if you have some desire to be righteous in the sight of God, then the arrival of the incarnate Son of God is the very best news you can hear. Jesus becomes our righteousness. Paul tells us: because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30). The challenge for me and us all then becomes, not one of striving to become righteous, but following the pathways made accessible, to be what I’ve become by observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.
Lord show me where I need to go with this in order to practice. Maybe it’s stepping into something which will help you pursue wholeheartedly the Lord’s commands and decrees? Maybe it’s repentance, which is called for: to stop something leading you off at a tangent?
Dear Lord, give me the eyes to see today where I can lean into loving you more clearly in heart, soul, strength or mind and open my eyes to each of my neighbours I encounter. May I be a road-sweeper for them, shifting rubbish to make as clear a pathway as I can towards Jesus.