Scripture reading: Luke 1:67–79
In itself, the transformation of Zechariah is a harbinger of the hope he proclaims. In the opening verses of Luke 1, Zechariah’s response to the message of his holy visitor is a lack of belief that results in his being silenced for the term of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. We do not know what happened in Zechariah’s mind and heart during those nine long months. We do know that here at the end of the chapter, on the day of the baby’s circumcision, he is filled with the Spirit and able to speak with joyous and exuberant faith. His prophetic speech is a foreshadowing of the descent of the Spirit in Acts 2:1–4. Speaking is not the only manifestation of being filled with the Spirit, but it is a significant one.
We acknowledge, O Lord, that like Zechariah
we experience our life in the world with both fear and faith.
There are times when life in all its unexpected twists and turns,
with all its vagaries and uncertainties, threatens to overwhelm us.
There are also times when we see glimpses
of the coherence and compassion of your mind and heart, O God,
underlying and overlaying, surrounding and indwelling the confusion of our humanity.
Grant us that inner sight; help our unbelief.
We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.