Luke 1:5-15, 24-25 (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.
24 Soon after that, his wife was expecting a baby, and for five months she did not leave the house. She said to herself,25 “What the Lord has done for me will keep people from looking down on me.
Well, Zechariah came home with a right tale today. Well, I say that. It would have been if he could have got it out, but for some reason he was having trouble speaking. Oh men that go to the back of their caves when they’ve got something on their mind. But what a tale it was. Apparently (ahem), he’d seen an angel. He was the Priest on duty, the one chosen to go into the Temple, and there it had happened.
Goodness knows Zechariah and I have not had the easiest life. Our longing for children has never been satisfied. We’ve tried everything and it’s just not happened, obviously not meant to be – though I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve such a curse. And now it’s never going to happen. I’m way past that now.
Except, that was this message Zechariah had got from this angel. There will be a child, a boy. For some reason we are to call him John, though there’s no John’s in the family. Still if God’s going to do something this amazing, I guess we can let him name the baby too. Because this is going to be no ordinary baby, he’s got something important to do for God.
I suppose all I can do is let God do what he needs to in and through me and the child I will carry.
Still can’t quite believe it. Can’t get my head around it. How will I cope with what God is asking of me? I guess God only knows.
God of surprises
may I be open to all you seek to do
in and through me.
May I hear your voice,
with my life.
Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent. Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page