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He Has a Name

November 29, 2011

My preschooler loves to play hide and seek in the house.  And listen, our house isn’t exactly Biltmore or anything…no “wings” to hide in…just a few closets that provide enough cover that we might actually require a seeker in order to find him.  This time of year, when the sun sets and darkness falls before we can even begin to eat dinner, we end up in a lot of random hide and seek games around the Williams’ house.

 Take a moment and read through Luke 1:67-79 today.

 There’s one room in our house…right at the front door…that he refuses to enter if it’s after dark.  And granted, we don’t use the dining room all that much.  It’s sort of the foreign soil of our house.  But the fact is this; if it’s dark in there…he is not going in.

 In Zechariah’s prophecy, the passage from Luke, he is talking about his own son.  He is talking about the mission that John the Baptist will fulfill.  And in typical Biblical prophecy, Zechariah at times speaks as if the prophecy has been fulfilled.  He isn’t making a guess.  He is making a proclamation of what God is going to do.  So while Zechariah is praising God for the blessing of this child, and proclaiming the mission of John to “go before the Lord to prepare his ways”, he is making it known that the coming of the Messiah is at hand.

 And this is what he says in verses 78-79, “Because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Zechariah is telling us that the One that is coming…is actually coming.  I realize how redundant that sounds, but it really can’t be overstressed.  The coming of the Christ, of the Son, is not merely a manifestation…it is an incarnation.  It is the Light actually coming here to dwell…in the flesh…meat…”carne.” 

 Every once in a while, during one of our hide and seek games, our son will decide he wants to play the part of the seeker.  If I hide in the dining room, with the lights cut out, he won’t take a step in there.  It doesn’t matter if I tell him that it’s okay…or if I tell him it’s just me in…he is not coming in there while it is dark.  But if I cut on the light, he’ll walk right on in the room.  But, I can’t just tell him that the light is there…it actually has to be there.  The same is true with Christ and the Gospel.  He actually had to be here.  He couldn’t send a shadow, or a type of Himself.  He had done that in the past in order to point us toward Him.  He actually had to come, in the flesh, and be Immanuel…God with us.

 He came, “to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  He came, that those of us (all of us) who are sitting in the darkness…might see the sunrise…and be found in the Light.  The good news is that for those of us who have seen the Light…it will never go dim again.  At the end of our games at the house, at the end of the day, we cut out the lights and go to sleep.  For the Christian, the Light never goes out, our hope is not in a shadow, but in the One who came here…our hope is Immanuel.

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