(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Ezekiel 45-46 & Luke 1)
Zechariah gets the opportunity of a lifetime.
Zechariah was part of a division of priests that served at the Temple two weeks a year. There were about 1000 priests in each division.
THE job for a priest was to go into the Holy of Holies and burn incense. Many of the priests never got that opportunity. The priest to do that job was chosen by lot. And Zechariah won the lottery!
Zechariah went into the Holy of Holies and was confronted by the angel Gabriel. You would think that the location, and the angel in his presence, would have a bearing on Zechariah’s thinking but it didn’t. Gabriel tells Zechariah that his elderly wife Elizabeth will have a child. Gabriel adds that the child’s name would be John.
Zechariah can’t get past the first piece of information and wants to know how this could be possible. Note that he is the Holy of Holies in God’s Temple getting information from an angel when his doubt surfaces! How like us Zechariah is.
God is merciful to Zechariah and via Gabriel he only loses his ability to speak. The speaking ability will return when John and born and given the name, John.
Note that when Zechariah finally speaks there isn’t an ounce of doubt in what he says. According to this verse, Zechariah starts right in praising God.
My words reflect the condition of my heart. My deeds reflect the same thing. Do I love God? Will I talk/walk in ways that clearly reveal that love?
“Lord, Your tolerance of me is remarkable. You are a loving God. Forgive me for betraying You by my words and deeds. I crave the transformation that comes when my life is filled with You. Help me to drive the sludge from my life so that I can function cleanly in Your Path. Show me the way I should go for to You I entrust my life.”