An angel said to Zachariah
Your wife will have a son
He’ll help the people to prepare
For God’s Most Holy One.
His wife Elizabeth was old
Childless and forlorn.
Zach didn’t believe so lost his voice
‘Til after John was born.
Read this account for yourself in Luke 1:5-25
Zachariah was chosen by lot to burn incense inside the part of the temple known as the Sanctuary of the Lord when the angel Gabriel appeared to give him a message from God. Gabriel told Zachariah that his wife Elizabeth was going to have a son who was going to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. Gabriel also said they should name the baby John.
Zachariah couldn’t see through God’s eyes – he only thought that Elizabeth was too old to have a baby now. They had wanted a child for years and years. And because he didn’t believe Gabriel’s message, Zachariah was told he wouldn’t be able to speak another word until after baby John was born.
Everything happened just as the angel Gabriel said it would. Zachariah was unable to speak until baby John was born. And John would become known as John the Baptist. The Prophet Isaiah foretold about John the Baptist in Isaiah 40:3 as one who would help to make straight in the desert a highway for the Lord. John preached to the people that they needed to repent of their sins and prepare their hearts to meet the Messiah.
Today we would do well to remember John’s message and to prepare our hearts anew to meet the Christ Child in a spirit of repentance. How do you prepare your heart to draw near to Christ Jesus? Before we can truly enjoy fellowship with Jesus, we need to confess and turn away from any and all known sins in our hearts and lives.
This devotional message corresponds to the second mini-story in The First Christmas by Janice D. Green. It is available here.