Monday, 30 November 2015

Hope in a Promise.

Elderly Zachariah. Living with
the legacy of lost hope
in the silence before the Coming.

No word from God for centuries. Four of them, to be more or less exact. 
Silence throughout generations 
upon generations 
upon generations 
of stories remembered and hope deferred.  


The silence of God to the nations
echoed hollowly
in Elizabeth's empty womb.

So on that day
among many of faithful service
Zechariah drew the chance
of a holy encounter. 

the presence of God himself
in his holy temple. A
death-defying experience,
for who can see God and live?

No wonder, then, at 
the angel's appearance,
Zachariah was paralyzed with fear.
Death suddenly
seemed a probable option.

Yet HOPE was promised.
New life in barren womb.
Spirit fresh in unborn babe
promising renewal.

God gifts a prophet to His people.

"It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.
"Don’t fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He’ll achieve great stature with God.

“He’ll drink neither wine nor beer. He’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother’s womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God’s arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he’ll get the people ready for God.”

Zachariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is an old woman.”

But the angel said, “I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won’t believe me, you’ll be unable to say a word until the day of your son’s birth. Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time—God’s time.”

Meanwhile, the congregation waiting for Zachariah was getting restless, wondering what was keeping him so long in the sanctuary. When he came out and couldn’t speak, they knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with the people.

When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said.  Luke 1:8 - 25

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