For months, Zechariah has been silenced. He was silenced by an angel because of his lack of faith in God’s ability to cause his old, childless wife to become pregnant. I imagine these have been difficult months—months in which Zechariah has longed to process this wild miracle and to verbalize his amazement. And I’m sure his wife, Elizabeth, has yearned to know what had happened and, like her husband, to talk through the experience.
Perhaps, though, the silence in their household has allowed Zechariah to consider his wife’s pregnancy in light of the ancient prophecies. He knows that the prophets spoke of a messenger, one who would appear ahead of the Lord to proclaim the Lord’s coming and prepare God’s people for God’s arrival.
And now Zechariah has had nine whole months to let it sink in that this messenger is his son. More than that, it means the prophecies of old have been realized. This is the moment.
If the messenger is here, the Lord is not far behind. Hooray! The Lord is looking favorably on his people and redeeming them. He is showing the mercy he promised ages ago. He is remembering his covenant.
God has given Zechariah the power of speech once again, and Zechariah is putting it to good use, telling the Israelites what he has come to understand over these months of silence:
The messenger is here.
The Lord is on his way.
Prayer: Faithful God, thank you for remembering your covenant. Thank you for not forgetting your people. Thank you for sending a messenger who will direct us to you.
The Advent devotions follow the Common Lectionary texts. You may use the devotions in a number of ways, but you are encouraged to do the following:
Read the passage through at least once. (Each devotion includes a link to the Scripture passage for the day.)
Reflect on the passage and pay attention to how God might be using it to speak to you.
Read and consider the devotion.
End in prayer. You may begin with the prayer offered at the end of each devotion or pray your own prayer.