December 7th is a day that America remembers. It was on this day in 1941 that the Pacific fleet was attacked in Pearl Harbor, thrusting our country into World War 2 at the cost of a half million US lives. But we’re not the only ones who remember.
There’s a little story tucked away in the beginning of Luke’s gospel that is rich in remembering. A messenger appears to Zechariah and informs him that he and his elderly wife are finally going to have a baby. This baby will be named John, and he will “be a joy and delight to you.”
This announcement is drenched in God’s remembering. For starters, compare the message to Zechariah and a message centuries earlier to Abraham:
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. (Luke 1:13)
Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. (Genesis 17:19)
The message to Abraham was the beginning of God’s actions to bless the world through Abraham’s descendants. That promise is remembered in front of Zechariah.
Then there’s the statement that John would go on in “the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children.” (Luke 1:17) God’s last prophet in the Old Testament was Malachi. And the last words that Malachi records are:
See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents;
God was remembering his promises through the prophets. And John was going to continue the tradition of the prophets and prepare the way for the Messiah.
Oh, and did I mention the guy who got this message from the angel, his name (Zechariah) means, “God remembers.”
Coincidence? I don’t think so. God remembers. He remembers every promise he ever made to you.
P.S. Speaking of remembering, if you got a copy of the Advent devotional last Sunday, remember to check it out each day for a quick section to read and something to think about. And then remember there are family experiences and projects to choose from if you’re doing this as a family or small group. If you missed last Sunday, be sure to pick up your copy this Sunday, or you can get a PDF version online by clicking here.