By Kisten Thompson
“…that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear…” Luke 1:74
This verse is from the priest Zechariah, the father of John who later became known as John the Baptist. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were both old and faithful servants of God but they had never had children. Until…one day, the angel Gabriel visited Zechariah when he was serving in the temple in the Holy of Holies, the innermost sacred space of the entire temple. And Gabriel told him, “Do not be afraid…your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you will name him John.”
And so it came to pass, just as the angel had said. When the child was born, Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke a prophecy, recorded for us in Luke 1:67-79.
This passage from Luke was the devotion reading I had for November 30. I was moved by all of the words (for they are quite familiar) but that morning, I was especially struck by verse 74, this declaration that we have been rescued from the hands of our enemies. I must confess that at times, I feel the grip of the enemy pretty tightly these days, especially now. The political news, the emerging health threat, another (!) school shooting…they all feel like they are enemies, conspiring to keep me from feeling very “rescued."
But, those feelings of discouragement don’t take away from the fact that I am “rescued from my enemies”. God remembered God’s people; God sent an angel to Zechariah and Elizabeth and promised them a son who would bear witness to the Savior of the world, the great “rescuer."
And because of that rescue, I can serve without fear. And that is the key-with fear removed, I can live fully, love completely, and serve faithfully.
So I wrote that morning, “Today I choose to live life without fear, full of love, gratitude and joy and to look for ways to serve.”
In these Advent days of waiting and watching, may you hear Zechariah’s prophecy and reminder that you have been rescued from the hands of your enemies, and really take it to heart. Life is not meant to be lived in fear. Ask the Lord to remove your fear so that you may live and serve in joy and gratitude.