Advent Promises

Saturday, December 5
God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Psalm 66:19

Do you long for daily, remarkable, awe-filled prayer times? More often—even when I approach the throne with clean hands and heart—I’m unaware of anything more than the walls around me, my open Bible, my current devotional reading. And silence.

Then I’m reminded of Luke’s description of Zechariah’s encounter with God: Once when Zechariah’s division was ON DUTY and he was serving as priest before God… Then an angel of God appeared to him…” (Luke 1:8 and 11).

Three priests, chosen by lot, performed sacred duties in the temple. The first carried away the ashes left on the altar from the preceding service; the second brought in a pan of burning coals from the altar of sacrifice; the third—Zechariah in this case—carried in the incense, sprinkled it on the coals, and, while the smoke ascended, made intercession for the people.

While Zechariah’s part in the service was deemed the most honorable and he understood its gravity, I also imagine that he was aware that this was a duty, an obedient and important act of worship.

We have no details about Mary’s actions on the day Gabriel appeared to her, but it could well be that she, like Zechariah, was also on duty. Drawing water? Grinding grain? Scrubbing clothes? How did she later describe the angel visit day to Jesus? 

Without angelic visitations, it can be enough for me to understand that God has listened and heard. Then go quietly into my duty-filled day.

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