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ADVENT Meditations: Day 23

(Luke 1:5-25)

During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God.

But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old. It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear. But the angel reassured him, “Don’t fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you—many will delight in his birth. He’ll achieve great stature with God.

“He’ll drink neither wine nor beer. He’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit from the moment he leaves his mother’s womb. He will turn many sons and daughters of Israel back to their God. He will herald God’s arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he’ll get the people ready for God. " Zachariah said to the angel, “Do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is an old woman.”

But the angel said, “I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because you won’t believe me, you’ll be unable to say a word until the day of your son’s birth. Every word I’ve spoken to you will come true on time—God’s time.” Meanwhile, the congregation waiting for Zachariah was getting restless, wondering what was keeping him so long in the sanctuary. When he came out and couldn’t speak, they knew he had seen a vision. He continued speechless and had to use sign language with the people. When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home.

It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said.

Meditation: Delighting in a Miracle

Many of us have lost our faith in miracles. When we don't see grand gestures of virgin births or bringing the dead back to life, we think perhaps the day of the miracle has passed. Yet, our very lives are miraculous. God does not violate the laws of nature in order to work miracles on earth. God works WITH creation and co-creates. We could begin to look at a miracle as nature simply flowing unimpeded. In order for that miraculous life-force energy to flow... What needs to be unimpeded? What are the blockages that stand in our way of experiencing miracles? Is it fear of letting go? Toxicity? Lack of faith? Hatred?

Pray for a miracle today! Ask God to surprise you with a miracle. Be expectant that it will indeed show up for you to bear witness to. Are you awake? Are you aware? Don't allow yourself to be asleep or lack faith that you might let the experience slip by your view altogether. Be brave and expect a miracle today. And then... Be ready to receive it. All it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed.

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