Today’s Reading: Luke 1:8-17 NIV
Some of the most surprising and memorable moments in my life were the times when I found out I was going to be a father. I remember the smile on my wife’s face and the need for reassurance in her eyes. I remember feeling both excited and nervous at the same time. This is where we find Zechariah in our story today. Through his role as a priest, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was happening for him to represent the people before God.
On this special day, when he would be the one to offer the sacrifice of burning incense in the Temple, he experienced a divine encounter with an Angel from God. In addition to being surprised by the Angel, he also had to be shocked at the news that he would soon be a father. Zechariah and Elizabeth were advanced in years and had longed to be parents for ages. Now, in this special moment, their prayers were being answered. Possibly with the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3 ringing in the back of their minds and the new words of the Angel still fresh in their hearts, we can only wonder to what level they understood the importance of the role their son would play in the coming of the Messiah. He, John the Baptist, was to be the one to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Can you imagine the joy…combined with the weight of that responsibility? Did he hear the Angel right? Would their son be the one to prepare the way of the coming Messiah? Luke says that God was going to use him to “bring back many…to the Lord.” One might see the Church in a similar position today. You might be compelled to ask, “Who or what is the Church?” The Church is made up of those who believe in Jesus Christ, those who believe in His first advent: His life on earth, His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead which gives hope for peace on this earth and everlasting life with Him. Those who believe (The Church) have the mighty privilege of being the ones tasked with preparing the way for the return of King Jesus.
Our job is to prepare the Kingdom for the returning King. The Kingdom of God is not necessarily a physical place but rather God’s reign and rule through Christ’s work as Redeemer. God doesn’t need you and me, but He has chosen to work through us as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) of restoration and redemption. The same God that worked through Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John two thousand years ago also works through us today. Ask God today how He might use you in preparing His Kingdom for His return.
With whom might He have you share a truth from Scripture or your personal story today?