“He has kept the promise he made to our ancestors, and has come to the help of his servant Israel”.
Lk 1:54 GNB
James Howell said: “An acre of performance is worth the whole world of promise”. We all know how easy it is to make promises, and most of us have experience of finding it difficult to fulfil at least some of them. In particular politicians have the reputation for making promises before an election and then of struggling to uphold them afterwards. And we have all had experiences of believing the promise of a salesman and then being disappointed with the product. Nevertheless, we honour and respect someone who does make a significant promise and fulfils it. Much of the fabric of society depends on the making of promises and then keeping them – as, for example, in marriage.
God is sometimes referred to as “The God of the Promise”. By his promises God was always pointing his people forward to the future. His supreme promise was made to Abraham when he said, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. … I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing” (Gen 12:1, 2 GNB). So he promised them the land of Israel and that promise has played a huge role in the destiny and history of the Middle East from that day to this. Mary, singing about it in her Christmas song, knew how precious it was to her fellow Israelites.
That promise does not play such a significant part in the Christian faith today. But we still put our trust in a God whom we know to be reliable, faithful and dependable.
Lord, thank you that I can depend on your unfailing reliability.