Welcome to Advent! We’ve made it. Another year has passed, and we’re nearing Christmas. As you're sitting down reading this devotion, there’s probably a part of you, if you’re really honest, that’d be more than happy to just skip ahead a few weeks, past all the chaos, and into the part where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy some breathing space. You and me both
However… we’re not quite there yet. Instead we have an opportunity before us, to ready ourselves to celebrate the birth of the Messiah (even if this birth was over 2000 years ago). Over the course of this week, together we shall explore the stories of five individuals, as they too prepared for His coming.
Meet Zechariah, a priest within the temple court. Both Zechariah and his wife were 'righteous in the sight of God’, which would have been incredibly difficult. Imagine how it is might feel to serve a silent God, who long ago made promises that remained unfulfilled. Imagine how it might feel, that on top of the silence, your faithfulness was rewarded with… a barren womb.
Yet Zechariah and Elizabeth remained faithful in their expectation that God would come through on his promise. And what we find here is that God’s faithfulness extends, not only to all of creation, but also to Zechariah and Elizabeth too.
Every morning and evening a priest would enter into Holy Place of the temple, offering incense with the whole burnt offering. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Zechariah, having been chosen by lot from the 18,000 priests that served the temple. When God gave Moses the instructions for this offering, he told him that “There I will see you and speak tot you; there also I will meet with the Israelites…” (Exod 29:42ff).
"And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshippers were praying outside.” (Lk 1:10).
And God spoke…
Questions To Reflect Upon
What does faithfulness look like in your Advent season this year?
How are you preparing to celebrate the coming of the Messiah?
How often do you hear the voice of God speak into your life?