Luke 1:5-20 (CEV)
An Angel Tells about the Birth of John
5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest by the name of Zechariah from the priestly group of Abijah. His wife Elizabeth was from the family of Aaron. 6 Both of them were good people and pleased the Lord God by obeying all that he had commanded. 7 But they did not have children. Elizabeth could not have any, and both Zechariah and Elizabeth were already old.
8 One day Zechariah’s group of priests were on duty, and he was serving God as a priest. 9 According to the custom of the priests, he had been chosen to go into the Lord’s temple that day and to burn incense, 10 while the people stood outside praying.
11 All at once an angel from the Lord appeared to Zechariah at the right side of the altar. 12 Zechariah was confused and afraid when he saw the angel. 13 But the angel told him:
Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayers. Your wife Elizabeth will have a son, and you must name him John. 14 His birth will make you very happy, and many people will be glad. 15 Your son will be a great servant of the Lord. He must never drink wine or beer, and the power of the Holy Spirit will be with him from the time he is born.
16 John will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God. 17 He will go ahead of the Lord with the same power and spirit that Elijah had. And because of John, parents will be more thoughtful of their children. And people who now disobey God will begin to think as they ought to. That is how John will get people ready for the Lord.
18 Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know this is going to happen? My wife and I are both very old.”
19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel, God’s servant, and I was sent to tell you this good news. 20 You have not believed what I have said. So you will not be able to say a thing until all this happens. But everything will take place when it is supposed to.”
Have you ever wanted anything so much, longed for it, yearned for it – and yet it has never happened?
Can you imagine if one day God came and told you that it would happen. I love this bottom picture, where the angel is tapping Zechariah on the shoulder 🙂
Not surprisingly, when he is told, Zechariah is incredulous – he can’t believe it. He wants to know how it can happen – a perfectly reasonable question. He knows it is humanly impossible. Zechariah wanted some proof, some tangible evidence – I guess he got it in losing his voice! Perhaps to hear, he needed to be silent?
Has God ever tapped you on the shoulder and told you something?
What was your reaction?
How? I know I have! Seriously Lord, you’re going to do what? With me? How on earth…?
Yet God does. He takes his people, ordinary human beings, and he makes things happen in and through us.
You say this is what is going to happen
and yet I can’t see how.
Surely it’s not possible,
there are too many problems,
did I hear you right?
help me to listen
to truly hear
do what you need to do
in my life
This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it. Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below. If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.