Barren Woman - There is a place for you in the Christmas story!
"In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old." - Luke 1:5-7
"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John." - Luke 1:11-13
"When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 'The Lord has done this for me,' she said. 'In these days he has shown favor and taken away my disgrace among the people." - Luke 1:23-25
And who was this baby to become?
"He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." - Luke 1:14-17
Can you hear these words from the perspective of a barren couple?
"Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commands and decrees blamelessly." - You have done no wrong.
"Your prayer has been heard." - God has heard your cry.
"The Lord has done this for me." - It is only by God's power and grace that I have conceived.
"He has shown favor and taken away my disgrace among the people." - God cares for me.
"He will be a joy and delight to you." - OH, will he ever!
"Many will rejoice because of his birth." - Can you just imagine how people are going to respond when we tell them we're going to become parents?!
"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord." - Is this why we had to wait for so long? You mean, they won't just rejoice because of the miracle of his conception, but that they will rejoice because of his identity too?
"He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born." - Wow!
"He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children." - You mean all those people we have watched who are horrible parents, yet blessed with fertility, will be taught by him?
"He will turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous." - This child is not only an answer to our prayer for parenthood, but also an answer to our prayer regarding our concern for the immorality we see all around us.
"He will make ready a people prepared for their Lord." - The Messiah is coming!