Breakfast with the Word 24th December
The Canticle of Zechariah in the gospel of today Luke 1:67-79 summarises what we have to do for God this season. After seeing what God has done for Him, Zechariah did not waste time to thank and bless the Lord.
From Zechariah and the Blessed Virgin Mary, we have seen that these biblical figures do not waste time to show their gratitude to God when He does anything for them. For them, the next action that precedes God’s intervention should be thanksgiving and nothing more.
This is a season of joy and a season of thanksgiving. It is much more than eating and dancing. It is all about giving thanks. During this holiday, many families do give thanks for whatever that has happened to them, in sincere gratitude for God’s provision. This is a great thing to do as we realize God’s sovereign presence in our lives. We thank Him for the wonderful blessings that come our way. In our text this morning, we are given a wonderful example by Zechariah about what thanksgiving is all about and when is the best moment to bless God.
In the Canticle of Zechariah, there are things He is thankful for.
1.The first is that Zechariah gives thanks for the fact that God has redeemed His people. This is a thanksgiving for a prayer answered. It is thanksgiving for what God has done for Zechariah and thanksgiving for God’s mercy on His people.
When we take time to count our blessings one by one, we will surely be marvelled at what God has done for us. Have we taken the time to reflect on the good things God has done for us? There are many praying to be like you. Have we taken time to ask why we are still alive, yet many have gone? Have we taken to ask why God has blessed you with children and family, yet many are childless and some are orphans?
We need to take the time to ask why we are still healthy, yet many are dying in hospitals? Do you know that what you have, others have not? Do you know what you can do, some cannot? You have to know, that where you are, some are praying and fasting to be there. Let us appreciate God today. Never forget to make this season a special time to show gratitude to God.
2. Secondly, in the canticle, Zechariah gives thanks to God for the fulfilment of past promises. The Canticle of Zechariah reminds us that before we blame and worry about what God has not done, remember the things He has done.
Have we taken time to thank God for the prayers answered? What of all the times, He saved your life? Have we taken time to bless God for that miraculous recovery and healing? What of enriching you with the grace to pass through the hassles of the year and yet here we are? Have you taken time to thank God for giving you that nice job? Have we taken time to thank God for a successful business trip, wedding, appointment? Etc. Or we only remember God only in times of crises? Therefore the canticle of Zecharia goes with this reminder; bless the Lord who has made you what you are. It is a reminder to always be grateful to God.
3. Thirdly, Zechariah thanks God as he anticipates the fulfilment of future promises. This is exactly what the Blessed Virgin Mary also did in the Magnificat. This is faith in action. Hence, the canticle of Zechariah reminds us again to learn how to thank God in anticipation that His promises will surely come to pass. Do we thank God only for the things we have seen? What of the things yet to come? Faith is also exercised when we thank God that what we prayed shall come to pass. Faith always exists in the unseen ( Heb 11:1-6).
4. Finally there is something about Zechariah we would like to point out. This man is a priest and certainly has been serving God all these years. Presumably, He also must have been asking for the gift of a child all these years but nothing happened until the appointed time. We salute his zeal and never give up attitude.
First, the canticle of Zechariah today is a reminder that no one knows what tomorrow can bring. Even when we think we have arrived, even when we try to think others are doomed forever, remember we are not their God. You may think you have today and some have not, and we are tempted to think that, their present situations would be their final case. Always know that we are not the decider of anyone’s destiny. Anything can happen at any time.
Secondly, it reminds those who are passing through any form of mockery and challenges, also that no one also knows tomorrow. Tomorrow may be better. God has not forsaken you yet.
Thirdly, remember that Zechariah remained in the service of the Lord even all these years of childlessness and mockery from neighbours. He did not quit his service because God has been seemingly quiet on him. This is unheard of among some Christians today. Many would have blamed, insulted and bashed on God even. Some would have lost faith. But Zechariah teaches us that whether good or bad, God is God.
In the midst of the fire, Shadrach and his brothers still sang praises ( Daniel 3). In the presence of challenges, Jehoshaphat praised God. ( 2nd Chronicles 20). This is when your prayers become a sacrifice.
Though things are not moving well, from the deepest part of your heart, you say God thank you. In the midst of problems instead of running away from God that He is not answering you, yet, the best is to run to Him. Whether good or bad, make your thanksgiving a sacrifice. Let us not forget that God loves a grateful heart. So, in this season of Christmas, despite the challenges, get your dancing shoes and roll out the drums of joy.
May God bless you dearest and give you a cause to smile today. May you encounter His favours in a way you never expected. Amen