Welcome to the 3rd week of Advent- it’s going quickly, isn’t it?
In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
“Do you believe in miracles?” These words were made famous over 20 years ago by sports broadcaster Al Michaels, describing the stunning upset of the Russian ice hockey team by a young, hopelessly outmatched USA team. This event became known, in fact, as the Miracle on Ice. Simply put, this kind of thing just doesn’t happen. And yet when we read the pages of Scripture- ones like today’s passage, we encounter miracles in abundance. But somehow we read past them casually, almost numb to the wonder of what is described.
Ponder this one for a moment: an angelic appearance announcing an impossible pregnancy. Like I said, things like this just don’t happen. Not apart from the power of God. And this is not the God of yesteryear, for a people far away and less sophisticated than we. This is our God: unchanging, infinite, and all-powerful. According to Jesus, one miracle ranks above them all. This one is all but invisible- the transformation of a human heart. “I was dead, but now I live. I once was blind, but now I see.” So let’s ask again, “Do you believe in miracles?”
What miracle do you long most for God to do in your own heart? How about the heart of someone else?
Spend time talking about and praying for God to do a miraculous work in hearts- yours and those around you.