Now is the time to prepare for the Coming of the Messiah this Advent Season. Meet us here each day of Advent where we will be posting a blog written by members of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, representing an intergenerational sampling of contributors as they reflect on the scripture selections from the Daily Lectionary Advent readings from the Book of Common Worship. If you would like to download a copy of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem Advent Devotional, CLICK HERE.
LECTIONARY READING: Amos 6:1–14; 2 Thessalonians 1:5–12; Luke 1:57–68
Have you ever wished you could have a second chance? Today’s reading from Luke 1 recounts an event in scripture where one such person did wish he could have a “do-over.”
Zechariah was a priest and he was chosen to offer the incense in the Temple. This was a high honor for a priest and it would probably only happen to him once in his lifetime. The priest was to offer prayers for the nation and for the people.
The angel Gabriel appeared and announced to Zechariah an unbelievable event—that his prayers would be answered. Gabriel’s news to Zechariah was good news—that he would not only have a son, but that the son would have a significant role in God’s plan of redemption. Zechariah’s job was to share this good news. But his reaction was total unbelief. And as a result he became mute, unable to speak until his son was born.
When his child was born, they named him John, just as the angel prophesied. Zechariah’s ability to speak returned, as Gabriel had said. When Zechariah spoke, he praised God! It was fitting that Zechariah’s first words were praise to God. His chastisement had not made him bitter.
Even though he had failed before, God gave Zechariah a second chance at faith. God gives us the same today—a second chance.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for not speaking forth your truth—the truth about Jesus Christ our Redeemer, Lord and Savior. Please, give me the courage and a new voice to speak about Jesus. Amen.
-Beth Bloss, Elder