During Advent, we not only remember how Christ first came into the lives of the individuals at the nativity, but how he came into our own lives and continues to transform us. We invite you to read the gospel account of Zechariah and Elizabeth and reflect upon how their joy was fulfilled in Christ.
Full Scripture passage: Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, 57-80
How would you react to a lifelong prayer being fulfilled? Take a moment to ponder. In the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, we see how God answers their lifelong prayer and how He blesses the entire world through them.
Scripture speaks of Zechariah and Elizabeth being righteous before God and walking blamelessly in His commandments. Even though Elizabeth was barren, they served the Lord faithfully. They did not fully believe they would be blessed with a child, but they hoped and prayed to God for this blessing.
While on duty as a priest, Zechariah entered the temple to begin his job. Then, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, announcing that his long-time prayer would be answered. He would have a son whom he would name John. Zechariah had the faith to ask for a child, but when the answer to that prayer came, he was full of doubt. He didn’t see how he and Elizabeth could have a child in their old years.
Elizabeth conceived her son and acknowledged it as a blessing from God. When her cousin Mary came to visit, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she began blessing Mary and rejoicing with her in song. She was overwhelmed with gratitude because her prayer had not only been met but had been greatly surpassed. Her son John would help prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.
This Advent season, what long-term hopes do you bring to God? Is it a friend’s salvation? A family member’s health? A future spouse, child, or career? Consider this…God often uses our prayers to accomplish His purposes in ways we cannot understand. He used Zechariah and Elizabeth’s faithful prayer to set the stage for the coming of Christ Jesus. Let this encourage us to continually set our hope in Christ as we faithfully trust Him to answer our prayers according to His good will.