Take time to read Luke 1:5-25 today. It is much too long for me to type in my limited time this morning and cutting and pasting were not working, so I hope you will grab your coffee and your Bible and read this passage.
There is so much focus on Joseph and Mary we almost forget the wonderful story that proceeds Mary’s encounter with Gabriel. Gabriel was very busy in Luke 1. Before he visits Mary, he visits Zechariah. It is really a funny scene.
I get tickled every time I read it. There’s Zechariah, an old priest, demanding a sign from Gabriel. His request seems to tick the angel off. But God probably knew what Zechariah’s response was going to be. Maybe Gabriel had been given instruction ahead of time to silence the old man.
Was Zechariah’s pride the culprit to his petition or his lack of faith? Was he worried that if he walked out of the inner courts of the Temple proclaiming his wife able to conceive in her old age (and he able to help in that department) people would laugh him out of town? Was he worried that if he told people, and it didn’t happen, they would put him in the loony-bin?
Was Gabriel ticked off or was it really the grace of God that silenced Zechariah? Did his silence protect him and his family? I think so. I think it provided space- a buffer- so that the miracle could happen in God’s time. No added media or news coverage. No pressure.
But my favorite part of this story is the last paragraph.
When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. ‘The Lord has done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among his people.’v. 25
My heart goes out to Elizabeth. All her life she wanted a baby. It was her duty and desire. She felt disgrace and shame because she was barren. Yet way past hope, the miracle was born in God’s time.
I’m so thankful we have a God like this. Tender. Faithful. Wise. Good. And He always has a story for us within the story.
Much grace and peace,