A Sermon for “Poor Performers” and “Splendid Sinners”

December 16, 2007

After writing yesterday’s entry, I decided to expand it into my weekly sermon, Good News for Poor Performers and Splendid Sinners. Here’s an excerpt:

The very first thing the angel says is, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard” (v. 14). What prayer has been heard? No doubt he means the prayer offered many times over the years that God would give them a child. We can hardly understand from our standpoint what it meant in that culture and in that day to be childless. The ancients considered it a cause for bitterest sorrow. As much as we may pray and hope for children today, they felt it much deeper than we do. It would have been easy—and very human—for Zechariah to conclude that at this late date, Elizabeth would never give birth.


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Ray Pritchard
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