Last week I asked: What do we all need?
The amazing message of Christmas is that God wants to shower us with his mercy and grace! That is our need!
Zechariah’s song proclaims the good news of salvation that is found in Christ. That salvation is found nowhere else.
We need God’s grace and mercy.
Jerry Bridges, author of two books about grace, Transforming Grace, and The Discipline of Grace says that “our worst days are never beyond the reach of God’s grace and our best days are never beyond the need of God’s grace.” We always need God’s mercy and grace.
When we think about the message that God communicated through Zechariah’s song, through the birth of John, the forerunner to the Messiah, the entire story is dripping God’s mercy and grace.
It is astounding and beautiful. That God would go to such lengths to express his love to us.
Grace could be understood as unmerited favor. When you do get what you don’t deserve.
Mercy as unmerited pardon. When you don’t get what you do deserve.
They’re quite similar and related, and they are awesome.
In God’s grace Zechariah and Elizabeth were past child-bearing age. They didn’t deserve to have a child in their old age. But God had grace on them. And so John’s name means “God is gracious”.
Think of all the ways that you have been blessed though you haven’t deserved it.
We need to receive grace and mercy.
We need to show grace and mercy.
The ideas of grace and mercy are so wide, that I can only scratch the surface of their meaning and impact in a sermon like this.
As we live in community with one another here, with our families, with our neighbors how do we practically show grace and mercy?