5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
As Luke begins his Christmas narrative, he starts with an elderly couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, and in describing who they are, he makes a vital point. The Christmas story, does not begin with the birth of Jesus, but goes back to the heart of the Old Testament story, back to the Exodus. Both Zechariah and Elizabeth are related to the brothers Moses and Aaron, the two through whom God saved the Jews from Egypt and created a family, a people, a nation. Could it be that by highlighting this link at the start of his tale, Luke wants us to see that the coming of Jesus is also a tale of liberation and of the forming of a family, a people a nation?
Father, like Moses and Aaron, and like Zechariah and Elizabeth, we can do nothing without you. Thank you that in you and through you we can find freedom and fruitfulness.