“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’” Luke 1:35-37 (NIV)
“Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night.”
It’s my girlfriend’s birthday tonight. For those of us time-worn and bleary-eyed moms awash in runny noses and a ubiquity of primary-colored cartoon characters, a night out with girlfriends has set off a hum of anticipation that’s precipitated no fewer than six emails between us today. We are geared up, keyed up, ready for what’s to come. We can feel it: tonight’s gonna be a good night.
This, to me, is how the beginning of Luke feels. Like no other Gospel author, Luke sets his telling of the events of Christ’s appearance against the roll of a literary timpani. A righteous priest and a terrified teenager are told they will be parents. Yet one is well beyond child bearing age. The other is a virgin. But there’s nothing like a story set against impossible odds to coax us to the edge of our seats.
The entire first chapter of Luke is full of surprises. This is a part of God’s nature that I love the best – the part that delights in catching us unaware, in showing us how very wonderful His plans for us can be. Here in Luke, Elizabeth’s unborn child recognizes the unborn Savior in his presence. A mute priest finally speaks. A virgin girl receives a message from the Most High and conceives the King of Kings. The neighbors are “filled with awe” (Luke 1:65). For truly, nothing is impossible with God. And the knowledge of His often-surprising power, the ultimate certainty of all His plans reminds us of how good things with Him will always be.
Lord, let me live every day with the excitement that comes from knowing you are near me. Make my life a reflection of your exhilarating designs and wonderful constructs. Each hour of my life unfolds to reveal yet another step in the surprising and delightful path you’ve marked out for me – your most humble servant (Luke 1:48). It’s gonna be a good life. Amen.
From the archives. Originally published October 20, 2009.