Does living with plenty dull the sense of our own sin and misery? Are we even aware of our need for a Savior? Of our gratitude for deliverance? Could our material comforts and security be actually diminishing our joy?
Can you remember one of the last times that you allowed yourself to enter into the type of praise that David describes?
My name is Zechariah. Nothing so remarkable there, as thirty Zechariahs before me are recorded in the Scriptures. But Zechariah means “Yahweh remembers,” and that seems remarkable to me, especially after...well, I’ll explain in a minute.
Despite the differences in their situations – the unlikely pregnancy of an old woman who bore the shame of barrenness for years and the completely impossible pregnancy of a young unwed virgin – these two women faced many of the same challenges as first-time mothers.
A fruit tree that doesn’t bear fruit, like the one that belonged to my in-laws, is worthless. Its lack of fruit indicates that something is wrong with the entire tree. Similarly, Jesus uses the harsh words in today’s lectionary passage to reveal that the Pharisee’s heart-orientation is wrong at the core.
As a young girl growing up in the church, I was always encouraged to base my faith on Mary’s. After all, she’s the mother of Jesus. She’s the epitome of being used to bring the …