Friday, December 23, 2016
Peculiar Power and Blessing
Luke 1:66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
The birth of John the Baptist foreshadowed the advent of something unusual. It was as if the first act was unfolding, people could sense it, because so much had transpired surrounding John’s conception and birth. They pondered the situation, the same as Mary pondered her circumstances. It brought them to a place of thinking and wondering about outcomes. Obviously this child was to be something different, or unique.
The pronouncement that “the hand of the Lord was with him” has been interpreted in many ways. It’s John Wesley who declared that this was “the peculiar power and blessing of God.” John was marked from infancy, to be someone destined to do great work for God. It was the prediction of supernatural events and a great career in service to God. John would not be an ordinary child for the grace of God was already visibly present in his life. So much so, that the people acknowledged the peculiar power and presence of God.
It’s easy to take babies and little children for granted and not think too much about who they will become in adulthood. However, every great leader of this world has begun their life as a dependent infant. God has a way of working, pouring out his prevenient grace, even on the life of an infant. This was true for John the Baptist, and also for Jesus. The people of the first century were invited to observe the ways in which God was working and await the results. The parents of these boys carried with them the heavy weight of responsibility in guiding the young lives but providing space for God to be at work. They recognized the peculiar power and blessing upon their lives.
Adults have a unique responsibility to serve as gentle guides for unfolding young lives. We don’t have to all be parents. We may be grandparents, aunts, uncles, or loving members of a church community, but we should recognize the hand of God at work in the lives of children. Who knows who or what some of these children will become? We do know that the hand of God is peculiarly at work in the lives of little ones and we must never become a stumbling block to their faith.
Christmas reminds of the innocence and potential, all wrapped up in the life of a baby. May we treat every new life as if the hand of the Lord were upon them. Together with God may we imagine what this child might become. And as a community of faith may we pour ourselves into guiding children into all that they might become in Christ Jesus. This is the peculiar power and blessing of God, revealed through new birth.
Lord, thank you for the precious young lives that I have the privilege of encountering. Please help me to be a force which helps to guide and direct them toward you. Amen.