JOY IN THE JOURNEY! Advent 2020 Devotional 7

December 7, 2020
Luke 1:18-25

In this passage Zechariah was struck mute for his disbelief and his wife Elizabeth recognized that God would work a miracle in their lives – a contrast in handling this great surprise.

Zechariah, a priest, was chosen to enter the holy place to offer incense to God for the people. The news given to him by Gabriel, the Archangel of God, fraught fear and disbelief in him. I wonder how a man today would have reacted if he were told that his wife, way beyond the child-bearing years would bear a child? Would he laugh because he was filled with fear in the presence of an archangel of God? Would he doubt the probability? Would he be joyous hearing the news?

And how about Elizabeth, a descendant of Aaron, also very faithful. Knowing that her husband, devoted to doing God’s work, was struck mute while working for the people of God in the Temple? The scripture however, does not address this; but we do know that Elizabeth felt joy that God would bless their union, thus ending a stigma of a childless couple.

Zechariah regained his speech when in verse 63 he wrote ‘His name is John,’ referring to Gabriel’s pronouncement that the baby must be named John. In verses 68-79 Zechariah praises God in a song (known as the ‘Benedictus’ canticle) and predicts the coming of the Messiah and that his son (John the Baptist) would prepare the way. A song of thanksgiving!

The journey to joy can be immediate, or long and protracted even for the most faithful.

Heavenly Father, in this season of the coming of our Messiah, calm our fears and doubts and help us create our own song of thanksgiving. Give us Peace and Joy. Amen

Susan Healy