14 day plan

The Birth of Jesus

Day 4 of 14

Luke 1:18-22

“How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

Reflection: What would you do…alone in the temple, with your God and your thoughts, praying for the people of God, but also for your wife, and yourself…and then there is a rip in your field of vision and some horror or delight is standing right in front of you… telling you the thing you’ve always wanted will be given to you, right in step with God giving his people that which they’ve always longed for? All that longing of a whole people over centuries, as well as the domestic longing of an old couple, it’s all so corporate and so personal in one lightening bolt of news. What would you do? Zechariah responds as any one of us might respond. He wants certainty. “How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah states the obvious, which to him is the obvious problem. Gabriel responds with another obvious truth. “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God.” This is the only proof you need. Zechariah’s lack of belief and trust in God’s messenger results in Zechariah losing his voice.

The impediments that we place in our hearts and minds before God are no match for him. He bounds right over them. He can blow our whole house of cards of objections right off the table. Our distrust and unbelief in the Lord do not limit him, but ironically, they do hinder us. They cramp our hearts and our lives can become crabbed and insular, curved in ourselves, reflecting only the darkest corners within us.

Wouldn’t you rather lean toward the Lord and his benefits, rather than away?

Prayer: The certainty of your salvation is before me in the person and the work of Jesus, in his death, resurrection and ascension. Lord, help me to see it. Amen.