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Saturday , December 23, 2023

Jan Brueghel the Elder Bouquet in a Clay Vase about 1609 Oil on wood, 56 × 42 cm On loan from the collection of Janice and Brian Capstick L1253

Malachi 3: 1-5
Psalm 25: 1-14
Luke 1: 57-66

The message in Luke 1: 57-66 reminds me of a clay bowl filled with petite, colourful flowers. One of the flowers in the bowl appears to be the strongest among the other flowers. The image of this bowl clearly illustrates to me the power of God’s commands, and how gently and effectively his power flows through us. Luke’s writing conveys to me a heart that is desiring to be perfectly obedient to God but is yet incapable of letting go of earthly demands.

Zachariah’s knowledge of his wife Elizabeth’s condition of being barren caused him to be reluctant to accept the words from the Angel Gabriel, stating that Elizabeth would bear him a son who would be named John. During her seclusion, Elizabeth found herself alone with God and emptied her grieving heart. Following the child’s birth, Elizabeth and Zechariah were visited by neighbours and relatives who rejoiced with them.

The visitors began discussing among themselves the naming of the child. As Zechariah was still dumb and could not speak, he wrote on a tablet that the child’s name was John.

As I reflect on God’s great mercy on both Zechariah and Elizabeth, I see how God’s commands are so profound and loving. How faithfully and lovingly He stands with us as we struggle to carry out His commands. May all our hearts be refreshed by these great blessings of God to Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Beulah Walcott