Wednesday, December 7, 2016

His Heart's Desire

      And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth...

      Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” 

      The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”

      The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute. 

I have long wondered why Gabriel struck Zacharias mute.  Mary asked a similar question.  And given their age and years of infertility is a little disbelief so inexcusable?

Perhaps in Zacharias, it was.  What Gabriel was announcing was the answer to prayer.  For who knows how many years or even decades Zacharias had been begging God for a child. As an answer God sends Gabriel, the angel that came to Daniel, to tell Zacharias that he was to receive a miracle the likes of which had not been seen since the days of Abraham. 

Zacharias isn’t ignorant; he was an observant Jewish male, a priest in active service described by Luke as both righteous and blameless. Yet faced with his heart’s desire, his dearest prayer answered-he doesn't believe.

Perhaps under your Christmas tree is a bounty of gifts or a single lonely box but either way I wish for you better gifts: answered prayers and the power to believe in them.  

Ready for more Christmas posts?

All I want for Christmas

A Good Guest


  1. The best gifts of all can't be purchased with a credit card or wrapped and placed under the tree. Thank you for this important reminder!

  2. What a lovely prayer and point. Thanks!