Zechariah has been visited by the angel. Elizabeth is expecting a child. For everyone else though it must seem like everything is still normal.
The Judean countryside is still occupied by Roman soldiers. Herod is still working on the Temple, and it’s costing more every month. Food demand and supply seems the same. Normal?
In one family it is not normal. Something is happening. It’s happening quietly because Elizabeth spends 5 months without telling anyone of her great hope and joy; and Zechariah, well, he’s just quiet period.
These times of seeming quiet are what I find so hard to recognize in my daily life. Surely though we might think we could always recognize God at work? Can’t we see his work happening?
Unfortunately, we have intentionally implied many times that we simply must see where God is working and just go do something. This puts the emphasis on the abilities and intentions of the individual and forgets the transformative miraculous God that we serve. Often in conversations with others and myself I hear this conversation and we wonder if God is even at work at all.
Do you remember what happened when Zechariah came out of the Temple? He indicated to everyone that he had seen an angel – and then he went home. He didn’t live in Jerusalem and once his duties there were fulfilled he went back to his hometown and his family and friends. Elizabeth told no one that she was expecting a child.
Silence. But growth was happening.
In April of this past year a friend of mine commented on his social media that everyone who thought the world was paused should reconsider their perspective. He pointed out that children were being born, others were dying, and the realities of living and carrying on a life were still happening. People were learning – or not learning. We were helping – or growing more selfish. We were serving – or demanding service.
Do you feel like many of the 1st century Jews must have felt? Do you feel like nothing is happening? Friends, it may seem like a pause to you and I, but God is always at work. May we immerse ourselves in His truth as we trust Him.
A prayer for Advent/Christmas
As we seek to serve others, may we use our eyes to see those who are in need. May we use our ears to hear those who are crying out for help. May we use our mouths to speak up against the wrongs of the world. May our Advent time be focused on others and not ourselves.Faithful Families: For Advent and Christmas – Traci Smith