Making Ready a People

An Advent Devotion for December 13

  Read Luke 1:5 – 17

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John . . . He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God . . . to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

There is a contemporary saying which goes, “Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly.” Angels are God’s messengers on earth who bring us good news. They look at our fear and tell us not to be afraid of the things we fear – the unknown which is unpredictable and uncertain. Zechariah has been chosen to enter the holiest part of the temple. It is a once in a life time opportunity. I would guess that as he prepared himself for that moment, he carried his prayer with him. The one that has been in his heart which he had long since given up on. What words did he actually say? Did the angel’s appearance stop him from saying what was in his heart? The angle came to Zechariah with a message of divine love and hope. The long sought child would come. He would have a special task in life, to prepare a people fit for the Lord. When he left the Holy place, Zechariah carried a new message in his heart. He had discovered grace and compassion. Silence would follow him. He would have months to ponder the angels message,

The word angel, simply means messenger. A person who brings a word from God to us. If we look into our lives we can name some of God’s angels who have visited us. They have arrived with kindness, a shoulder to lean on, help when we most needed it. They have brought us comfort and assurance. Sometimes they have challenged us to do more with our lives that we had been intending. Go back to school. Learn a new trade. Risk love again. Follow the dream God has set in your heart.

Most often our angels come in human form. They arrive in boats when trapped in flood waters. They dig into the earth and carry rubble to rescue all they can when the earth shakes and buildings collapse. They knock on our door with meals. They visit us in hospitals with prayer shawls. The speak through the words of people who care. They calm our fears. They bring us good news. When we are afraid, they remind us that the God of the universe is holding us. In Advent, angels seem to be everywhere. Zechariah, Mary, shepherds and in a dream Joseph will see angels.

Prayer: Holy One, Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear your angels this Advent, lest we miss the message of hope you would bring us. Amen.

Additional Advent & Christmastide Devotions can be found by clicking here:   Advent & Christmastide Devotions