Monday, December 17, 2018

Day 16 of Advent


TEXT:  Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.  And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.  And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child.  And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”  And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.”  And they made signs to his father, inquired what he wanted him to be called.  (Luke 1:57-62)

“They meant well.”  Aren’t those ominous words?  We only say people “meant well” when it’s clear they’ve made a mistake.

When Elizabeth had her baby, her relatives and neighbors came to the circumcision ceremony, prepared to celebrate.  Everything was going great until they got to the baby’s name.  “Zechariah Jr., right?”  And in the middle of this, Elizabeth’s answer drops like a stone: “Yeah, actually, it’s John.”  What?  They protest.  And then they go over Elizabeth’s head to ask her husband, as if they thought Elizabeth had shut him out of the decision in the first place!

Meaning well isn’t enough.  We need someone who not only means well, but does well—someone who loves u sand finds a way to put that love into effective, loving action.  And that’s exactly what God sent to us:  our Savior Jesus.  His love shines out in everything He does for us—whether that is teaching us, rebuking us, comforting us, or showing kindness to us.  Truly, He is the one who “has done all things well” (Mark 7:37).

With Jesus, there are no blunders—no mistakes—no “I didn’t mean it that way” and “You’re too sensitive” and “Can’t we just forget about that time?”  We know that Jesus is nothing but goodness and love and health and holiness; if there is a problem between us, it’s obvious who needs to correct course.  And yet He never holds those problems against us—never rejects us out of hurt feelings—never refuses to be reconciled with us, to accept us, to bring us home.  Our friends and relatives love us.  Our Savior lad down His own life for us—and then rose again to share His everlasting life with us forever.  How wonderful He is!

THE PRAYER:  Lord Jesus, thank You tat You always forgive and take me back again when I have failed to do well—or even to mean well.  Thank You for saving me.  Amen.


When was the last time you got your feelings hurt by someone who meant well?

When was it you who meant well, but didn’t manage to carry it out well?

When you have to deal with people who mean well but hurt you anyway, how do you find the strength to treat them with the love of Jesus?

Copyright is owned by the International Lutheran Laymen’s League, and used with permission of the Lutheran Hour Ministries, all rights reserved. Lutheran Hour Ministries: 

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