E-votional - From Our Sponsor
December 8, 2004


ďDo not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.Ē

Luke 1:13(NRSV)


It is that time again. When the programming on TV spends almost an equal amount of time drawing our attention to the great deals being offered by retailers than it does actual programming. There are promises of social deliverance, technological advance and self satisfaction. The retailers are trying, desperately to meet our every need. In fact one auto maker is having a buy-one-get-one-free-sale. The radio too screams to the consumer, jockeying for position on your own wish list or buying list. They do this by sponsoring the program which is heard or watched. The better the program, the higher the cost for commercial air time. Once they have your attention through programming, you are all theirs during that 2 minute intermission. But occasionally there is a sponsor who wishes to make a statement, and the statement IS the program. It is sent to us uninterrupted and in its entirety.

Hear the Good News, God's activity in world, a broken world at best is The Word, from The Sponsor. This activity comes in so many forms; Prophets, John the Baptist, Paul the Apostle, the Disciples, even you and me. But the greatest of course is Jesus Christ. The Word made flesh. When we remember the story of Zechariah and how his prayers and encounter with Gabriel changed not only his outlook on God's activity, but his life, we are caught in a moment of wonder. You see, this is where we, society, you and me fit in. Yes we as individuals are very similar to Zechariah. We keep hoping to see God's activity, but when it doesnít happen within our time frame, or maybe we just can't see it, we give up or become jaded. It happens in our homes, at work and even at church. This is when we become like Zechariah. So here is what we can learn from Zechariah:

  1. When we lift up our prayers to God, he hears us. God listens to our hearts.  Donít become jaded or doubtful because things hoped for remain unfulfilled. Let Advent remind us to hurry up and wait. In other words be patient. 
  2. God has make us a promise, and how God keeps His promises. He never stops loving us. We do not need to get caught up in what others are getting away with or feel rejected when good things happen to bad people or bad things happen to good people. Focus on what God has promised us and have faith, recognizing that His response will come when the time is right. 
  3. Godís plan is bigger and better than we could ever imagine. When God gets involved, itís great stuff. Iím talking greater than Spielberg, or Clancy, better than Shakespeare or Twain could ever dream up.  Who would have imagined that anything good would have come out of Nazareth? 

Take a moment and ask yourself these question: Have you given it up to God? Do you believe God hears your prayer? Do you believe He will respond? Do you believe His response could surpass your imagination?


   Gracious God, thank You for having such an imagination that I would be in this world.  Thank You for the countless prayers You have answered.  Please forgive me when I sit in self pity and doubt, wondering what will happen next to me.  Allow me to share all you have opened my eyes to, Your beauty and Your activity.  Help me to live the life Jesus saved with His Sacrificial love and Grace. Thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Grace & Peace

Rev. David Banks
First United Methodist Church of Onalaska
PO Box 687
Onalaska, TX 77360
(936) 646-5859


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