2023 Advent Devotional - Luke 1:18-19, 24-25 (Day 15)

Luke 1:18-19, 24-25 “And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Even though Zechariah and Elizabeth’s prayer had been answered they were in disbelief. Is their story a beacon of light to show that through God anything is possible? Always remain faithful and committed to his plan.

Zechariah said “For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years”. This shows that we must not rely on our own understanding but to remain trusting and committed to the Lord. He had Gabriel to bring this good news. Even when they could not believe that they were truly being blessed the Lord sent assurance to them. John was to become the one to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” I know that it is hard enough to raise a child and help them walk in the faith. I cannot imagine the pressure Zechariah and Elizabeth must have felt being brought the good news by Gabriel. Elizabeth having kept herself in hiding to understand and process the fact that her prayers were truly answered.

This also goes deeper when referencing “to take away my reproach among people”. Elizabeth being barren for so many years, may have felt inadequate or judged. She may have felt criticized by others because during that time when you were not blessed with children it was because something was wrong with you or God was displeased with you for something you have done. Whereas we know now that God was using their story of struggle and dedication through their advanced age. He gives us assurance through their struggles and their story that everything has a plan and a timing for when it should happen.

Thank you Lord, for giving us the example of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Teaching us and showing us how their faithfulness was rewarded even when they thought it would be impossible. Please help us to remain faithful and steadfast to you in times of joy and times of weakness. In your name we pray. Amen - By Regina Werdehausen

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