Day 11 – Responding to God’s Intention – 2023

Day 11 – Responding to God’s Intention – 2023

“…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 

Luke 1:17

Read Luke 1:5-17 

God works in unexpected ways in our lives. We can respond to God’s intention with overwhelming fear or with joy and gladness. God continues to seek us when we are in despair or shame. We can expect God’s mercy to invite us into the redemption story. Luke’s presentation of the response of Elizabeth and Zachariah is this invitation. 

Luke echoes connections to Old Testament birth miracles, like Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21). Luke’s story of the birth of Jesus within God’s divine plan appears in the context of covenantal promises. Essences of waiting, expectation and anticipation radiate through the birth narratives of John and of Jesus, overcoming emotions of hopelessness and despair that threaten to disrupt the story. 

Luke’s story finds the Jews under Roman occupation. Juxtaposing King Herod, a tyrannical king who exerts imperial power over the Jews, with Elizabeth and Zechariah, a priestly couple marginalized by their lowly, shameful barren status, Luke highlights the couple’s righteousness and blamelessness before God. Elizabeth and Zechariah do not allow their shameful state to overwhelm them. God acts through this couple to restore their honor. Luke invites his readers to experience their shame and pain. God invites all people to depend on God’s loving action to have honor restored. God invites all into a larger story “to make ready a people for the Lord.” Luke’s story invites today’s readers to embrace the good news of God’s call in anticipation of what is yet to come. 

We ask God to prepare us both in our joy and in our fear. This Advent we pray that, transformed by God’s righteous love, we can share the good news with the world. 

Advent Devotions
Ministry, Leadership and Culture Cohort 2024

Ministry, Leadership and Culture Cohort 2024

Mariah Cushing, Ph.D., instructor; Rie Collett, Beshada Gossa, Adam Hendrix, Corinne Jones, Jackie Millar, Cecelia Olea, Cecilio Ramos, Rachelle Summers, students Fresno Pacific University


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