Saturday, February 20, 2010
Lent, Day 4: …he will be a joy and a delight to you…
The first thing that Gabriel tells Zachariah about John is that "he will be a joy and a delight to you." I marvel that Luke includes this in his account, since it seems to have little to do with John's role as the one "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Yet John is not just the one who prepares the way for Jesus, he is also the answer to his parents' prayer, and with his coming Elizabeth exclaims, "the Lord has done this for me…he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people." John the Baptist is also John the son of his parents.
God works his plan so that not only does John bring back many of the people of Israel to their God but John blesses and fulfills his parents' lives.
Yesterday, Isaiah told us that true fasting involves caring for "our own flesh and blood." In the midst of the Lenten season, and at other times, I find myself becoming distracted from my loved ones by my earnest pursuit of spiritual development. I need to recall that my family is God's gracious gift to me, that they are my joy and delight, my honor, and (in ways I cannot fathom) part of God's salvation plan. However I pursue God, it must be through my family life and not apart from it.