In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years.
Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”
Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.
Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.
After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”
Erin has been feeling quite sickly today so I’ve written today’s reflection!
P.S. This is Brian, her husband!
Elizabeth conceiving a child was thought to be impossible. This was a miracle.
You’ve heard the question “do you believe in miracles?” Hot Chocolate even wrote music about it!
I always answer yes, of course. After all, I am a Christian! The very fact that I am alive is a miracle depending on how you look at it. There are many different types of miracles that happen everyday. People don’t need to be raised from the dead or cured of paralysis for it to be considered a miracle; those are just the ones that get all the popularity or that stick out the most.
I feel like believing and seeing miracles in our everyday life is so important for a vibrant faith life. That may sound like I’m encouraging a faith or spirituality that is based on feelings or that is hinged upon miracles, like we need to get our next miracle fix to survive or something. But I’m not at all! A mindset towards faith that is based solely on feelings or big, flamboyant miracles is fundamentally flawed.
It’s all about perspective. We need to put a stop to the flawed thinking that limits miracles to these huge and obvious events listed above. As soon as we do that, we’ll be able to see how full of miracles our lives actually are; we’ll be able to SEE GOD. See him in our friends, family, in little happenings that we would have never thought of as significant before if we hadn’t taken of our blinders and stepped back to see God working right in front of us.
If we can shift our way of thinking in that way just a little bit, we will have such stronger faith in God, much more convicted hearts, and we will ultimately be better equipped to take up arms in the fight again sin and satan. Because when we are able to see God’s workings, we will then also be able to see the workings of the evil one, his lies exposed. We will be able to more fully engage in the spiritual battle that is ever present in the hearts of the masses. Starting first with our own perception and disposition, then on to those of our brothers and sisters.
Isn’t it so beautiful how much truth we can draw from one piece of scripture? I pray that we all see more fully the love God is trying to communicate to us in his day to day miracles as precious gifts to us. Let us take off the blinders and open our eyes; I can only imagine what we’ll see!
How do you see God in your day to day life? Does that give you hope and purpose? Share a story if you feel so called!