“God Is Willing to Grant Us Second Chance to Reinstate Our Faith 神樂意賜予我們再次的機會，使我們的信心復原“（Luke 路加福音1:57-66）
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, ‘No! He is to be called John.’ … Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. … to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, ‘His name is John.’ Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. … Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, ‘What then is this child going to be?’ For the Lord’s hand was with him.
以利沙伯的產期到了，生了一個兒子。鄰里親戚，聽見主向她大施憐憫，都和她一同歡樂。到了第八天，他們來給孩子行割禮，要照他父親的名字，叫他撒迦利亞。但他母親說：“不可，要叫他約翰。” … 他們就向孩子的父親打手式，看他要叫他什麼。他 … 寫上說：“他的名字是約翰。”眾人都希奇。撒迦利亞的口舌立刻開了，就出聲稱頌神。… 凡聽見的就把這些事放在心裡，說：“這孩子將會成為怎樣的人呢？因為主的手與他同在。”
God’s promise of showing Elizabeth (and Zacharias) great mercy was fulfilled as said. Her neighbours and relatives also rejoiced at the child’s birth. Both of the old couple knew that their child’s name had to be John according to the angel’s command. Making signs to Zacharias for his naming of the child, those guests treated him as if he were deaf, not mute! This must have been constantly annoying to Zacharias. Even though Zacharias had failed before, God gave him a second chance at faith to confirm their child’s name as recognition of a fact, not a suggestion. Just as the angel said, Zacharias could speak again. It was fitting that his first words were praise to God. His chastisement for doubt/disobedience had not made him bitter. Instead, it made him want to trust God all the more, at every opportunity.
Prayer: Gracious and Loving God, like Zacharias, we might often feel that your promise must be too good to be true. We had probably protected ourselves from disappointment by not setting our expectations too high. We looked at the circumstances first, and what God can do last; we are tempted to think this is logical. We deserved to pay a price for our unbelief. Thank you that our unbelief did not make you take your promise back but just kept us temporaily from enjoying it until our faith has been reinstated in your granted second chance. Amen.