And Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." (Luke 1:18-20)
Zechariah is ... noticeably unenthusiastic. His first words show doubt: "How shall I know this? Give me some proof. I'm too old to have a baby, and my wife is, too." Man, did you forget you're talking to an angel? What more proof do you need?
I bet it wasn't the answer Gabriel was expecting. Humans are weird! And so he does the heavenly equivalent of pulling out his ID card, and then hands Zechariah a totally appropriate consequence: "You don't believe my words? Fine. You don't get to have any words of your own—until the day when you see these words come true!"
The result? The only words in Zechariah's home for the next nine months are going to be his wife's—and maybe a servant's, yeah—and Mary's, when she comes to visit. The believers get words, sure—lots of them, full of praise and joy. And by God's mercy and patient humor, the unbelieving world gets the Word of God—Jesus—our Savior, who came to lay down His life for us, to win for us life that lasts forever.
WE PRAY: Dear Father, thank You for sending Your Word, Jesus, to be our Savior. Amen.
* When have you seen God's sense of humor in action?
* When has God been patient with you?
* How does God help you to be patient and kind to others who drive you nuts?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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