Monday, December 8, 2008


I worked with the four year olds yesterday morning and taught on the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. I had skimmed over the lesson on Saturday and actually took the time to really read it Sunday before any delightful children showed up to the classroom. As I read over the points for the lesson, I couldn’t help but realize I could learn from this story as well. Zechariah and Elizabeth were both older but had never had any children. I’m sure they probably questioned God as to the reason for this since they both served Him and Zechariah was even a priest. I’m sure Elizabeth wanted a child to hold in her arms and Zechariah wanted a son to carry on the family name and maybe even become a priest like him. Yet year after year, Elizabeth remained barren. How many times do we find ourselves in the same position? We desire something from God and question why He’s yet to answer us.

So one day an angel appeared to Zechariah as he was offering incense in the temple. What I find so cool about this story is that on the day the angel appeared to him, Zechariah was performing a ‘once in a lifetime’ act. The ability to decide who would enter the temple to present the incense before God was determined by casting lots. So as Zechariah stood before the altar, an angel spoke to him, promising he would indeed receive his long-awaited child; not just a child but a son. But because he doubted (as we all tend to do), he was unable to share this great news with all those who had looked at him and Elizabeth with disapproval (since the fact that she had remained barren for so long could sometimes be viewed as a sign of God’s disfavor). For nine months, he had to remain silent; only able to watch as his wife bore the evidence of the angel’s words. As the story continues, once John is born and Zechariah insists that will be the child’s name, he’s able to talk again and he and Elizabeth share in the joy of finally having a son. On the heels of this birth, Elizabeth’s cousin Mary is also pregnant (with a certain Son of God) and seeks refuge at Elizabeth’s house while she decides what her next step looks like (another story entirely).

A few things I want to point out that really spoke to me are this:
1. When the angel spoke to Zechariah, one of the things he said was, “…your prayer has been heard…” – even when we feel like are prayers are going no higher than the ceiling, God does hear us.
2. The last part of the lesson said, “God always keeps His promises” – we may think God’s forgotten us and we’ll never receive the things we feel He’s promised us but GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES.

I want to end with what Gabriel told Mary when she asked how she was ever to give birth to the Savior, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

No comments:

Post a Comment