“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as He promised through His holy prophets long ago…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 1:68-70; 76-79 (NLT)
The second song of Christmas that Luke records is about a priest who struggled with doubt. His name was Zachariah. While on duty in the Temple an angel appears to him and tells him that he and his wife would have a son that would prepare the way for the coming Messiah. Zachariah and his wife, Elizabeth, had prayed for years to have a child. Given their age now, they had given up on that dream from ever becoming reality. But what seemed impossible with men is possible with God! What’s remarkable to me is how Zechariah responded to the angel’s message. Unlike Mary who accepted the angel’s story despite how impossible it sounded; Zechariah expresses his disbelief in verse 18. Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The exchange between the angel and Zechariah and what happens next is comical.
“The angel answered, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.’” Luke 1:19-20 (NIV)
Here’s a father-to-be who can’t speak! He remains speechless until his son was born and must write down on a tablet what they will name their child! Only then was his tongue loosed and he sang a song of praise and prophesies about the child in Luke 1:67-79.
I love this story because I can relate to the doubts of this priest. Yet, despite his doubt, God would fulfill His purposes. It gives me hope. Even pastors struggle with doubts, especially when prayers go unanswered and dreams begin to fade. Sharing your doubts makes you real. People relate to our weaknesses. We may impress them with our strengths, but we influence them with our weaknesses.
If you can relate with Zechariah, be encouraged, and remain faithful to what God has called you to do. Let God be God and put your trust in Him to accomplish His purpose in His time and His way. God gave Zechariah a song of faith that rose from his doubts. When he held his son, John, in his arms, he was convinced that what God said about him would come true! “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.” Luke 1:76-77 (NLT)
You and I have the opportunity to do the same for Day 6 of our 12 Days of Giving Challenge. Invite a friend to a Christmas Eve Service at Woodlands Church. Each Christmas Eve service will present the Gospel in the most creative, clear, and compelling way to communicate God’s love in sending His Son to be our Savior! Share the invitation on social media with the hashtag #WC12DaysofGiving. It could change a life for eternity!
We’ll see you tomorrow for Day 7.