Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk 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 named him Zechari′ah after his father, but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
As had happened before in Salvation History, God blessed an elderly couple with new life… a child conceived in old age. Zechariah and Elizabeth are reported by sacred scripture to have been a righteous couple. At an age when no one could have imagined Elizabeth bearing a son, she did, for nothing is impossible for God—and no time is too late.
In one sense, this righteous couple symbolizes all of God’s chosen people, Israel, that seemed so old and broken. Twice conquered and now under foreign domination, who could take the Jews seriously! Well, God certainly did for He loves them as His first born among the nations. And so it is fitting that the herald of His Christ would come from a couple that no one would expect to bring new life. With God and His special creation, it is never too late as long as an earthly breath remains.
The same is true for each of us. Whether or not we love God, He loves us. And as long as a breath remains in us, God will help us to love Him. It is never too late for a new life in Christ. Never. Give yourself over to Him today. The fulness of new life awaits.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Image credit: “Creation of Adam” (detail) by Michelangelo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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