The Old Testament ends with The Book of Malachi, God’s people a remnant had returned to Jerusalem from Babylon and rebuilt the temple. But the people were in spiritual apathy except for Malachi who spoke against such apathy. God’s people were to return to Him and to renew their faithfulness to the covenant. Malachi foretells the coming of the Messiah, His forerunner, and the day of the Lord.
In Malachi 3 the coming messenger is foretold along with the coming of the Messiah and the end times–day of the Lord. Then there is four hundred years of silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Elizabeth and Zechariah have a secret wish, Elizabeth is barren and desires to have a child. Zechariah is a faithful priest who is at the temple to worship and his name is selected to go into the holy of holies. He is chosen to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense and offer prayers. An angel appears to Zechariah and tells him not be afraid. He tells him Elizabeth will have a son and to name him John and he will have the Holy Spirit from conception. Zechariah is awe-struck but has doubts so until the baby was born Zechariah could not speak.
Ann shares, “God bends His heart to hear the prayer of the breaking–the remembering God of the small and forgotten–and miracles begin again here. Miracles begin understated. They begin, and the earth doesn’t shake and trumpets don’t sound. Miracles begin with the plainsong of a promise– and sometimes not even fully believed. This is always the best place for miracles: God meets us right where we don’t believe. When our believing runs out, God’s loving runs on. This is the season of the Advent of God. The barren will birth. Dreams will wake into reality. Nothing is impossible with God.”
God is our miraculous answer. Ann says, “The miracle is always that God is gracious!”
She reassure us, “He will prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord. You don’t have to work for the coming of the Lord–you don’t have to work for Christmas. You don’t have to earn Christmas, you don’t have to do Christmas, you don’t have to make Christmas. You can rest in Christ. You can wait with Christ. You can breathe easy in Christ. Open your heart to the miracle of grace. He will prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord.”
Luke 1: 57-67 When Elizabeth gave birth and Zechariah gave the baby his name, his voice returned John The Baptist cousin to Jesus, John the Baptist was a miracle and a forerunner to Jesus. Celebrate today by doing something kind for someone today.
Zechariah asked questions but did not believe in his heart that God could do the miracle, Mary asked questions but she believed God could do anything, where are you at in your belief this Christmas? Are you like Zechariah and need proof or like Mary and accept that God can do anything?