Read Revelation 4:1-11. TEXT: And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense (Luke 1:10).
When I was a boy, my brothers and I were mesmerized by the pomp and ceremony of church. We memorized each step of the acolyte, dreaming of the day we would wear those robes and carry that burning taper. We'd pause and take a deep, solemn bow in reverence before God's altar, then step up into the chancel to light the gleaming candelabra, standing on either side of the altar.
After the service we rushed home to play "church." We put on our housecoats and scarves and set up a little table as the altar. One brother played organist on our little chord organ, and my other brother and I played acolyte and pastor.
I wonder if Zechariah did the same when he was a little boy. Did he go up to the temple with his family and stand at the gate, watching the priests dressed in their fancy robes, walking around with great somber steps, offering the sacrifices? Did he watch the priest step through the temple doors with great pomp and ceremony?
Did he pretend he was that priest, gazing around in awe and amazement at the glories of God's holy temple?
Finally, the day has come for Zechariah to step into that holy place. What a wondrous sight awaits him!
One day, you and I will leave this world. Because of Jesus' birth that first Christmas and the life He lived afterwards-because of His suffering, death and resurrection-He has made it possible for us to step into His majestic throne room and stand in His splendid presence forever.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for making me worthy to come into Your presence. Come among Your people today, and cleanse us from all sin. Amen.
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