Monday, November 29
“I’m just doing my duty, God, I know the ritual: take two handfuls of finely ground incense, place it on the burning coals… I’m getting old, God, my knees hurt. Is any of this worth it? Do I keep trusting you?”
Zechariah’s words spring from my imagination, but are they any different than my thoughts when the “duty” of following Christ wearies my soul, when prayers go unanswered, when God’s hand is invisible, when I’m just plain tired?
Three words leap to my attention: he was chosen.. True, Zechariah’s choosing was according to long-established ritual, but it was ritual according to God’s direction. When years have gone by, when physical frailty or dashed expectations cloud what we once believed so earnestly, it’s easy to forget that we too have been chosen. …before the foundation of the world, he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children, living within his constant care (Ephesians 1:4, Phillips Translation).
Can you smell the incense? Do you feel Zechariah’s longing and weariness? Sit with him today. Identify with his yearning. Specifically name your own yearning.
Zechariah had no idea what was coming. Maybe that’s you today. You carry the incense of your profession or career or life circumstances with sadness or frustration. Surely God doesn’t intend for life to be like this? Are you brave enough to ask God to use the story of Zechariah to infuse your yearning with hope?