Reading: Luke 1 verses 5 – 25
Thought: I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’d been given a really unexpected gift and, despite being someone who has a habit of spoiling her own surprises, on this occasion I had been clueless. I think I probably shed a tear (a happy one obviously) and, for a minute or two, I didn’t quite know what to say and I think I just stood with my hand over my mouth coming to terms with the fact that I’d just been given something I really wanted but had never expected. Getting something you would really like is always a lovely feeling, but when you never thought it would actually be yours and suddenly it is, well, that’s s whole other level of excitement and joy altogether.
In our reading in Luke, Zechariah was left speechless too, though, for a slightly different reason! He and his wife were old and had never had any children, and suddenly, in his old age, while working in the temple, an angel arrives to tell him that’s, amazingly, he and his wife are going to have a baby, one with a very special job to do!
Even though Zechariah was a priest who loved, served and trusted God faithfully, I’m not surprised that he was shocked at what he heard. But, God stopped him from saying anything until after the baby was born and he had been given the name God had chosen for him, John. Sometimes we may doubt what God can do, but this is a reminder to us, that if God has planned something to happen, tat will bring glory and honour to Him, then no matter how impossible it may seem to us, He can make it happen.
John was born at just the right time to tell others about Jesus and to prepare the way for Him. John’s faithful, Godfearing parents would have prepared their son and taught him the scriptures, educating him well and helping him to become the man God needed him to be to carry out a very special role.
When you get any surprises over Christmas, remember how God surprised Elizabeth and Zechariah. We may live a long time after them, but that doesn’t mean God can’t still surprise us and leave us a bit speechless with what He can do. When God has a plan and a willing heart, even the impossible can become possible in His power, whether we believe it or not!
Carol of the Day: Joy to the world – unspeakable joy
Advent Activity: Gift labels and ideas for wrapping.
Materials needed: Card/paper/anything you need for wrapping your surprises!