And immediately his (Zechariah's) mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God (Luke 1:64).
Read Luke 1:64-66.
Squeezing together at Christmas time can put a strain on even the closest of families. Cutting words can splinter and scar a family for years. Perhaps this Christmas will see empty places around your table -- and deep regret in your heart.
Zechariah knew that regret well. Nine long months went by since he spoke a word. Out of disappointment he last used his voice to blurt out his doubts about the angel's promise. Over the months his faith has been restored by the wonderful things he has seen and experienced, but his last words still echo in his mind.
But along with that echo are the words of the angel, "You will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place" (Luke 1:20). One by one everything the angel predicted has occurred, and now the last piece has fallen into place: the child has been named John. In an instant God restores his speech. And the first words from Zechariah's mouth are words of blessing for the great things God has done.
Each of us carries regret over hasty words we have said. Perhaps you regret something you said to a loved one now gone. Just remember Jesus Christ came in the manger to win forgiveness for that sin. Because He died and rose again, we have new hope and new life. It's a hope that through Christ Jesus our fractured relationships will be repaired. We hope for this to take place in this life but even if it doesn't, for all who believe, it will in the never-ending life we will enjoy together when Jesus Christ returns.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, heal the wounds I caused by my hasty, hurting words; restore the relationships I have damaged, and fill me with peace and joy for Jesus' sake. I pray in His Name. Amen.