Friday, May 30, 2014

God, the dropper of my jaw!

God is the God of surprises. In our walk with God, there is some surprise waiting for us at every turn. In the narrative of John’s birth in the Gospel of Luke (1:5-25) we find many divine surprises.
First of all, Zechariah the priest did not expect to find Gabriel, the angel of God as he entered the area where the altar of incense was. The old priest was startled at the sight of the heavenly being right in front of an earthling like him. Secondly, he did not expect the announcement that he is going to become a father. He was old and has accepted the fact that he and his wife will be childless for the rest of their life.
The worshippers waiting outside had their surprises too. They were surprised that the priest has taken unusually long time to return. Now, finally when he emerged he was not able to talk to them. He was mute. Then they concluded that the priest might have had a encounter with an angel in the inner court of the temple. That also is a surprise—an angel in the inner courts of the Temple?
Elizabeth, the wife of priest Zechariah also had her share of surprises. She was not expecting a child. However, she tried to keep the secret that was growing in her belly for five months until it became to big to hide from the people. Now, we can imagine the surprise her family members and friends had when the discovered that the old, barren woman is going to have a child.
Finally, the child was born. The people wanted to know what they should call the child. The mute father writes the name ‘John’ on a tablet. There was a double surprise waiting for them. First of all, the name was unusual. Usually, a child is named after members of the family—parents or grandparents. However, there was no one by that name in their family. Why this name? However, this is the name that the angel had suggested to the father. Then they had their second surprise: the moment the father wrote the last letter of the name ‘John’ his mouth was opened and he was able to speak. He has been dumb for about 10 months and suddenly he speaks as soon as he wrote the name that the angel had told him to give to his son to be born.
At every turn of life we should expect some surprise as we walk with God. The reason—God loves to surprise us. He is not a God who specialize in the mundane and the ordinary but he loves to do what is beyond the limits of our imagination. He enjoys doing what we dump as impossible. He makes my jaw drop! This is a parody of what the Psalmist said in Psalm 3:3 ‘the lifter of my head.’

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