“Once when he was serving as priest before God during his section’s turn of duty, [Zechariah] was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord
to offer incense…Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified, and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will
name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. Luke 1:8-9, 11-15a (New Revised Standard Version)
In all of the times I have heard and read this story of the annunciation of John the Baptist’s birth, I have never paid much attention to what the angel says in verse 13: “your prayer has been heard.” Though Zechariah has an unexpected encounter in the sanctuary of the Lord, the angel tells him that God is granting
him something for which he has asked. The challenge Zechariah has is to trust that God will do what he has asked God to do.
This is so often our challenge as well! We ask God for direction, for strength and support, and for a whole host of other things. When God tells us that we have been heard and that God is going to grant our request, we can hardly believe it. For some reason, we expect our lives to continue as they have before, even as we ask for God to do something different. This Advent season, may we begin to actively look for the ways God is showing up in our lives and helping us know that God hears us when we pray. We may even
find, as we do, that God has been working for quite a long time, just not in the ways we expected.
Prayer: Dear God, help us listen deeply for your word and your presence in our lives. May we find joy and gladness in the ways you listen, and draw near to us through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Amen.
Wondering While Waiting: When was a time something that you thought happened because of chance turned out to be exactly the path God laid out for you?
Daryl – Leadership Team: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
Angola, IN