Zechariah, the priest, one who should be leading Israel in worship and praise, exits the Temple unable to speak. One, two, three, four. We are not hearing the rhythm of the patriarchs’ song we know so well. This is not Hannah’s hymn rehashed. There is a new beat to this tune. . . .
We have to wait a while. Throughout Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Zechariah is mute. . . . Zechariah does not speak again until after John is born. When we do hear from him, he doesn’t merely talk. He breaks forth into a song that fits the rhythm of this unexpected backbeat of anticipation, a song born out of the gestation of silence, weighing God’s promises while awaiting God’s fulfillment.
—Max O. Vincent, Good News of Great Joy: Advent Reflections on the Songs of Luke (Upper Room Books, 2021)
How do you think months of silence changed Zechariah’s understanding of God? Join the conversation.
[Zechariah said,] “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.”
—Luke 1:76-77 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord, Emmanuel. Amen.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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