January 12 – Faithful Old Preacher

Read: Luke 1:5-25

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. (Luke 1:13 ESV)

Zechariah was a priest in a small rural community. He presided over a small synogogue, with a small congregation, and probably had small expectations. He was an older man and childless. Yet he and his wife Elizabeth remained faithful to the place and people God had called them to. Finally Zechariah had the opportunity to minister in the most sacred part of the Jewish Temple, the Holy of Holies. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. During his time in the Temple he was visited by an angel who told him about his coming son.

Jesus spoke regularly about faith. In the example of Zechariah and Elizabeth we see incredible faithfulness modeled in Christ’s own human family. Sometimes faithfulness can be a struggle. Sometimes it is far easier to put words to our beliefs than actions.

Zechariah and Elizabeth followed God’s will for their lives even though it turned out differently than what they probably envisioned as a younger couple. We like to make plans and dream big, and I believe God wants good things for us, but sometimes God holds back our dream from us because we haven’t demonstrated the kind of character arrived at through time honored faithfulness. Sometimes we have trouble just getting out of bed in the morning and demonstrating Godly faithfulness for a whole day. Jesus was faithful all the way to the cross.

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