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December 23, 2023



When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week. As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. While the incense was being burned, a great crowd stood outside, praying. While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”

Luke 1:5-20 NLT



In preparing to remember the miraculous birth of Jesus through the Virgin Mary we should pause to remember there were two miraculous births. For hundreds of years the prophets had declared that before the coming of the Messiah God would send a messenger to prepare the people for His coming. This messenger would be a prophetic voice to the nation.

God reached down and chose a Jewish priest who was late in life named Zechariah. He and his wife, Elizabeth, had never had children. Elizabeth had been unable to conceive. The culture of the day would have considered her unfit as a wife if she couldn’t have children. Yet Zechariah and Elizabeth had stayed faithful in serving the Lord and obeying His commandments.

It is difficult to continue to be faithful when the promises and blessings of God don’t seem to come when we expect them. I can imagine that Zechariah and Elizabeth got married with the expectation of a large and prosperous family. They had done everything right. They were faithful and obedient. But as the years passed it was evident children were not in their future.

They pushed on through the pain and disappointment. They were faithful even when their dreams were dashed. Then comes the visit from an angel in the Temple while Zechariah is doing his priestly duty. Zechariah finds it hard to believe they will have a son—and not just any son but the one to be the messenger to pave the way for the Messiah. Perhaps Zechariah was afraid to allow himself to dream again about a family. That dream had been carefully buried years ago.But God has ways of doing the unexpected. He seems to delight in surprising us to fulfill a dream we thought was long gone. Zechariah goes mute for nine months until the baby boy is born. His inability to speak is a daily reminder of God’s promise being fulfilled.

Maybe there is a dream you buried a long time ago because you thought it was impossible. Christmas is a reminder that God can still do the impossible. He loves surprises.

Don’t miss the surprise of Christmas.



Holy Spirit help me to keep my eyes and ears open to the surprises you may have for me this Christmas season.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”


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Kathleen Southall
Kathleen Southall
Dec 29, 2023

Always Have Faith in


Dec 23, 2023

God is actually doing it for me. I have the faith . It’s me who should be mute until it happens.

God keeps on , looking out for me.

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