The angel said to Zechariah, “Now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.” (Luke 1:19-20)
As we move toward Christmas this week, I would like to share some words of encouragement inspired by the lives of three important figures in the Christmas story. Today we will look at Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.
Zechariah was performing his priestly duties in the temple when Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, appeared to give Zechariah wonderful news: his wife, Elizabeth, would give birth to a son, and they were to name him John (“the Lord is gracious”). The child would be filled with the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit from birth, and he would be set apart for special service to God.
Zechariah, however, doubted what Gabriel told him, and he was struck with supernatural silence for the next nine months, while he awaited the birth of the promised child. Here we see that the Christmas story began with a season of supernatural silence in the life of the father of the forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, inasmuch as Zechariah’s supernatural silence was due to his unbelief, is it possible there is a message in this story for you and me today? Perhaps our Lord is inviting us to withdraw from the busyness and the business of the Christmas season so that we can press into the presence of our Lord to hear His still, small voice above all the clamor that is so much a part of the world around us. Silence in the presence of our Savior is a wonderful way to renew the mind, recalibrate the heart, and realign the will.
Remember, some of the best praise we can offer to our Lord comes not through our speech but through our silence. A little silent waiting for Christmas day to arrive is a great way to focus on the Reason for the season . . . and His name is Jesus Christ.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!