Daily Scripture Reading: Luke 1:67-80
We return to the story of Zechariah. At some point before John the Baptist is born and presumably before Elizabeth is pregnant, Zechariah is stricken mute. He continues to stay mute up until 8 days after John the Baptist is born. My best guess is that for somewhere between 9 months and a year, Zechariah has been unable to speak.
This brings a whole new meaning to the quiet game, a whole new meaning to timeout, and a whole new meaning to a lot of different scenarios. How would you handle it? I don’t know how long I could manage not talking. I presume that I would last longer than most, considering my reputation during the quiet game. But the not talking isn’t the point. The point is what would you say when you could talk again?
Really, what would you say when you could talk again?
We witness the powerful and prophetic outburst of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, as he is filled with the Holy Spirit. This passage marks the culmination of a period of divine silence, broken by the birth of John, the herald of the Messiah. I use the word outburst on purpose because I worry that my outburst may not be as positive as Zechariah’s. Would I be saying, “Woe is me!"? Or would I be ecstatic for seeing God at work in the world without the distraction of my mouth getting in the way?
Zechariah's song is a symphony of praise, prophecy, and promise. It begins with a burst of gratitude for God's faithfulness and salvation. Zechariah acknowledges the fulfillment of God's covenant with Abraham, which now extends to rescue His people from the hands of their enemies and provide a way for them to serve Him in holiness and righteousness.
The heart of Zechariah's song is the prophecy about his own son, John, who will prepare the way for the long-awaited Savior. John's ministry is described as a call to repentance and the forgiveness of sins, guiding people in the paths of peace. This proclamation echoes the essence of the gospel, emphasizing the central role of repentance and forgiveness in God's redemptive plan.
As Zechariah continues, he prophetically unveils the unfolding drama of salvation. He speaks of the tender mercy of God, the rising sun from heaven, and the light that will dawn upon those living in darkness. This imagery points directly to the birth of Jesus, the Messiah, who is the Light of the World.
Still after all that, all I can think, is… What would I say when I could talk again? I hope it would be to sing the praises of God working in and around us.
Have you ever been without something or someone for an extended period of time? What was it like getting back together if that happened?
How do you think you would react without being able to verbally communicate after a year? Would you just be happy to have your voice back or would you hold a grudge?
Think of the things you are grateful for that you never seem to say out loud and then take the time to verbalize it, even if it is just to yourself.
Our Heavenly Father, as we reflect on Luke 1:67-80, may we, like Zechariah, respond with a heart filled with praise and gratitude for the Savior who has come to rescue us from darkness, leading us into the everlasting light of His love and peace. May we have outbursts of love instead of anger because of your love for each of us. Amen.
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