Bible Study

Zechariah's Christmas Song

Zechariah's Christmas Song

There is something particularly beautiful about the righteousness that comes with age. There is a sweetness to it that can only be developed over the years.

There was once a husband and wife who loved God deeply. They had this kind of beautifully aged righteousness. Luke says that, “they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.”[i] If you thumb through the scriptures there are very few people commended as highly as this. The husband, Zechariah, had given his life in God’s service as a priest.

“But,” Luke tells us, “they had no child.” This was no small thing and certainly no personal choice. They had yearned for a child and prayed for a child. But no child had come. Any childless couple, any mother who has lost her pre-born child, knows the mark of pain, the empty place that can’t be covered up in the heart. Everyone who has walked through this loss knows the temptation to sin against God in the face of disappointment and shame.

But Zechariah and Elizabeth had walked righteously in the face of grief.

Then one day Zechariah had the incredible blessing of being chosen to enter the Holy Place in the temple to burn incense. He never could have anticipated what awaited him.

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

1.      The Rescue Begins: The story of Easter begins long before Jesus arrives on the scene. I love The Gospel Project’s videos.

2.      Learning Styles are Bunk: Joy Pullman on the research that has debunked "learning styles" and why continuing to use this framework is counterproductive.

3.      Is My Desire Sour? Melissa Kruger gives us helpful questions to help analyze whether our desires are godly or not. The last question, "What is my desire while I wait?" might be the most important.

4.      Rules Without Reasons: Mike Leake: "If I’m being honest, there are some things in the Scriptures that I simply do not get. Some positions which I believe are biblical still make me a bit uneasy. At times, I simply do not understand why God set these things up the way that He did. But I’m asked to obey them nonetheless."

5.      The Science of Creating High-Performing Companies: Paul Zak is a neuroeconomist. Yup. I guess that's a thing. This is an interesting podcast where he talks about the impact of trust on an organization. 

This Week's Recommendations

This Week's Recommendations

Hawaii’s Lava Hose: This is the stuff kids’ dreams are made of.

How Shallow Are Most of Your Decisions? Phil Cooke shares stunning research from Princeton on just how shallow our decision-making is.

Foster Care As the Way of Christ: Darren Carlson's thoughts echo some of our experience with foster care. “Foster care can be a part of dying daily. When we think of denying ourselves and taking up our cross, many of us do not think that mundane life is what Jesus had in mind…. Surely [Jesus] knew that included changing diapers with gloves to avoid infections, lying awake with a meth-addicted baby, signing up your children for fewer activities because of visitations… receiving other questions wondering if you are sacrificing your own children in the process, and more.”

How to Study the Bible: Simple and helpful method by my friend, Benjamin Vrbicek: O-I-A: observe, interpret, apply.

The Importance of Teachability: A thoughtful reflection by Nicholas Batzig on why a commitment to teachability is so critical.