Christmas

John The Baptist Foretold

This devotional is written by Morwenna Triggs.

Luke 1:5-10

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

Reflection

Zechariah and Elizabeth are blameless before God, they are living honourable lives, keeping to the commandments (V6), but they are old and childless (V7). When reading this, I think "But hang on – aren't they 'righteous people'? How come God has let this happen?".

When things get tough and I feel I have unanswered prayer, I can find myself not being patient. I focus too much on achieving 'life' goals instead of waiting for God's timing, so this for me is a powerful message that despite life's disappointments Zechariah continued to trust in God.

Reading on in verse 9, Zechariah enters the temple of the Lord to burn incense; this happened to a priest only once. Here, my mind is blown even more…Zechariah has been faithful and patient all this time even though he hasn't even been in the presence of God.

But for us it doesn't have to be this hard. We are now in the lead up to Christmas, celebrating Jesus coming into the world, the time when God became as close as hands and feet and sacrificed his son so that we can be blameless in his sight and no longer have to enter a scared temple to be in his presence. We get it completely FREE.

Following on from this passage we read that an angel meets with Zechariah and answers his prayers in a way that's greater than he could ever have hoped for. Reminding me that waiting for God's timing will always exceed my own possible desires.

Today reflect on where you need to take a step back, and instead focus on coming into God's presence.

Pray

God, thank you that because of Jesus I am blameless in your sight, I come before you now. Fill me with patience, faith and hope. I am counting every blessing and letting go and trusting in you.

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