“Praise be to the Lord … because he has come to his people and redeemed them.” (Luke 1:68)
“I want one of these, and one of these, and …” The child went on and on, turning the pages of the Christmas gift catalog. Adults have their wants and wish lists too. The problem is that what we want is seldom what we really need, and it’s not always good for us. Too often our wants reflect our selfishness and greed.
We have a hunger that cannot be satisfied apart from God. We may try to fill that gap, but the longing of our soul will remain. The author of Ecclesiastes observes that all our pursuits — things, pleasures, even wisdom and work — are meaningless without God. We are created by God and for God. To live apart from God is emptiness.
In Luke 1, Zechariah praises God not because God fulfills a wish list but because God meets our deepest needs. Zechariah’s song is a litany of praise for God’s redeeming work.
Though we alienated ourselves from God, God has come to us. Christ has redeemed us, purchasing our freedom from the slavery of sin. Jesus saved us from our enemies.
God keeps his promises and remains faithful to his people. Jesus has made us holy and righteous. Our lives are filled with meaning and purpose as God empowers us for service.
Thank you, Lord Jesus!
Lord, forgive us for pursuing our wants with greed and selfishness. Help us to focus our lives on you, as we praise you for meeting our deepest needs. Amen.