At first, Zechariah hadn’t believed that he and his wife could have a child, even when God promised that it would happen. Fast forward just over 9 months and at the circumcision ceremony of his son (you know, the one that he didn’t believe they could have!) he insists on calling him John’ (the angel had said to call the baby this).
Zechariah had been unable to speak since his encounter with the angel in the temple and so his wife Elizabeth had announced that their son would be called John. The others who were there were surprised because there was no one in their family by that name and they had probably been expecting the baby to be named Zechariah after his father.
Zechariah began praising God and then he prophesied about the coming Messiah
His prophecy finished with these words:
“And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1.76-78)
Zechariah says that the light of God is about to break into the world to bring light to those in darkness and to guide us to the path of peace. This a wonderful description of who Jesus is and why he came.
‘About to’ sounds so immediate but the ministries of John and Jesus didn’t begin until around 30 years later.
How impatient are you? If God said he was about to do something but then you found out it wouldn’t be in 30 years, how would you feel? Most of us wouldn’t have the patience for 30 days let alone 30 years!
If we expect everything to be instant and to be fixed quickly, then it will have a negative impact on our faith because God doesn’t always work that way.
At first Zechariah had a hard time believing God could do what he said but over 9 months, things changed!
Growth takes time!
What is God longing to do in your life? Are there things that he is trying to accomplish but your impatience is getting in the way causing you to give up or to lose focus?
This is a part of a series of short thoughts for advent to help us to consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus as we prepare ourselves for Christmas. You can look at the other advent reflections by clicking here.
There is a thought for each day in December leading up to Christmas day, so check back tomorrow as we begin to think about the journey to Bethlehem.
You can read more about the birth of John the Baptist in Luke 1 starting at v57.