The Weekend Word
“In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.” (Luke 1:5–7 ESV)
I was working on my obligatory Christmas messages with very little enthusiasm when this passage jumped off the pages of my Bible.
“Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.”
The Christmas season has a way of amplifying the leanness in my soul, more so as I grow older…all the “barren” places in my life shout about my own failures and my disappointment with God.
They also tell me I’m out of time…the days of hope have passed me by.
In the context of this passage “barren” means that Elizabeth was unable to bear a child, but the broader meaning of the term means an inability to bring forth life or the things that sustain it.
Also in the context of this passage, the note that they were “advanced in years” means that not only were Elizabeth and Zechariah unable to have a child, they probably had stopped trying long ago…and stopped praying for it at the same time.
They had learned to live with an empty nest.
Still, they were devout people going about their lives day in and day out, faithful despite the years of longing unfulfilled.
Then one day while the old man was at work, an angel showed up with a message from God…not only were Liz and Zech going to have a kid, he was going to play a part in fulfilling the national longing for Messiah.
Zechariah didn’t believe at first.
Just like you think this passage doesn’t apply to you.
I pray it does.
I pray that you will understand that God often shows up to normal people doing normal stuff and fulfills the hopes we can’t fulfill on our own.
I pray that you understand that God has heard all your prayers and He doesn’t have a statute of limitations governing when He can answer.
I pray that you realize that if you’re breathing, you’re not out of time and God isn’t done with you yet.
I pray that this Advent has Jesus showing up in your places of barrenness and speaking new life into them.
I believe, help my unbelief…
Make your own application…