The Commemoration of Zecharias and Elizabeth
November 5, 2009
The Lord be with you
On the calendar used by the LCMS, today is the Commemoration of Zecharias and Elizabeth. I thought, therefore, I’d share something about this couple.
Zecharias and Elizabeth were “righteous before God, walking blamelessly in the commandments and statutes of the Lord” (Luke 1:6). Zecharias, a priest in the Jerusalem temple, was greeted by the angel Gabriel, who announced that Zecharias and Elizabeth would become parents of a son. Initially, Zecharias did not believe Gabriel’s announcement because of their old age. For his disbelief, Zecharias became unable to speak. After their son was born, Elizabeth named their son John, as Gabriel had instructed Zecharias. The neighbors found it an odd name because no one in the family had been named “John.” Zecharias confirmed the name and his ability to speak was restored. In response, he sang the Benedictus, a magnificent summary of God’s promises in the Old Testament and a prediction of John’s work as forerunner to Jesus (Luke 1:68-79). Zecharias and Elizabeth are remembered as examples of faithfulness and piety.
Zecharias’ song is called the Benedictus because the first word in Latin, the standard Bible for over 1,000 years, is “benedictus.”
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert