Read Luke 1:21-23. TEXT: And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple (Luke 1:21).
Each morning and evening a priest offered the burnt offering on the altar that stood outside the temple building. Then a second priest entered the temple to burn incense. Normally, this incense offering was very brief. After burning the incense upon the altar of incense, the priest stepped back through the doors to pronounce the blessing upon the gathered worshippers standing outside.
But this afternoon Zechariah is delayed. Everyone standing outside begins to wonder why. Of course, we know it took time for the angel Gabriel to make his announcement, for Zechariah to voice his doubts, and for Gabriel to answer them.
Finally, Zechariah steps out through the doors, but he can't give the benediction. He stands silent, making signs to them. Soon the people realize something has happened. From his signs they gather the priest has seen a vision in the temple.
This is remarkable, for more than 400 years since the close of the Old Testament writings, God has remained silent. He has raised no prophet to speak to His people. Could it be that God is now ready to beginning stirring things up again?
As Christmas draws nearer, God is ready to start shaking things up. But first He wants to work in your heart to prepare you to receive the Messiah who is coming to take away your sin, doubt, fear and death.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, make my heart, mind and spirit ready to celebrate with joy the birth of Your dear Son Jesus so that I may boldly and gladly share His joyous salvation wherever I go. In Jesus' Name. Amen.