Wednesday, December 8
One more date with Zechariah. When the crowd disregards Elizabeth’s words, using sign language they turn to the father, perhaps in desperation to get the “correct” answer? Here’s another place in the story to put yourself in the picture. With arms waving in frustration, did Zechariah impatiently “shout” for a writing tablet? How long did it take him to scrawl the words his heart cried? Was the crowd quieted or did they murmur? Had they given up on Zechariah during these confusing months?
Zechariah’s nine-month silence is shattered with the simple words, His name is John. Luke immediately goes from local to global, The neighbors were all filled with awe, AND throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. When God breaks in, there are no boundaries.
As happened to Elizabeth, Zechariah is now filled with the Holy Spirit and breaks into praise. But please don’t miss the intimate words of this bearded saint to his newborn son, Is Zechariah cradling John in his arms as he whispers how the baby will grow into the most special of callings? Do tears fall as he recalls Gabriel’s words: The child will bring joy, the child will grow to be the Messiah’s way-paver, the child will speak for the Lord…
As far as I can determine, this is the recorded end of the Elizabeth/Zechariah story. What we know about them is remarkable but I, loving the next chapter in any well-told story, want to know more. How long did they live? How did they raise this strong-willed, anointed boy? (I could have used their advice!) What we have is a story of living with God at the center. Most often there is duty, sometimes there is doubt, repeatedly there is misunderstanding, occasionally God miraculously breaks in. And then we wait.
Where are you in your story this Advent? A season of duty? Doubt? Sorrow? Misunderstanding? Miracle? Wait well and sing with Zechariah, Praise be to the Lord…because he has come.