Read again the wonderful story of the angel speaking to Zechariah and was touched. Zechariah is going about his daily duties in the temple. He is burning incense to glorify God when the angel appears. So many times, God comes to us in the ordinary, the daily duties of life, as we faithfully serve God wherever we are in life. But in another sense, he is in the Lord’s house. And so it is that God often meets us in the intersection of the ordinary and the extraordinary, the human and the divine. When the angel appears to Zechariah, he is afraid. But the angel speaks those beautiful words of comfort and promise: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to call his name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth.” Zechariah moves from fear and trembling to wonder and rejoicing. This was likely a prayer request that Zechariah and Elizabeth had long given up on. But God was faithful.
The promise had to be fulfilled in God’s timing not theirs, as so often is the case in our lives as well. Of course, Zechariah could hardly believe it and said so. At least he was honest with God. A lesson we would do well to learn as well. The angel told him that because he did not believe, he would not be able to speak until this happens. Perhaps it was not so much punishment as a way for Zechariah to do what we should do more—to quietly meditate on the promises of God. And as we meditate on God’s promises in silence, the promise unfolds in power within us. So it was with Zechariah, and perhaps Elizabeth needed a little silence from Zechariah as well as she pondered this divine wonder. But then the moment of triumph as Zechariah was asked after John’s birth what the child’s name would be, and he faithfully followed God’s command and affirmed that his name would be John, and all the sudden he was able to speak again. So it is with the seed of faith that meditates on the promises of God, growing faithfully, until in the right moment it springs forth into the full flower of promise. A lesson for each of us . . .
(scripture of the week)
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, “your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to call his name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth.” Luke 1:13
(prayer of the week)
Lord, help me to find new faith in the promises you have made to me for my faith and life. Help me to mediate on your words of promise to me that they may grow within me and, in the right moment, come forth through your power and to your glory, amen.
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