Tuesday, November 15

Preparing the Way (part 1)

Read Luke 1:5-25

Zacharias and Elizabeth, the aged prophet and his wife were the recipients of one of God’s greatest gifts: A baby boy. Well past child baring age, well past the point of continuing to hope, a child was given. Unlike Abraham, Zacharias did not receive a promise under starry skies years before the promise became reality. He received notification in the Holiest of Holy places in the Tabernacle, went home, and TA-DA! Not surprisingly, Zacharias was skeptical of the news. And because of it, his ability to speak was taken away. Most scholars agree that he lost his hearing for a time as well.

I wonder what he thought about those ten or so months in silence. How did he communicate with his wife? Did she know what was happening to her? I wonder how their first conversation went once his ears and mouth opened up again.

One can only imagine it might have gone something like this:

“Is he asleep?” Zacharias asks as Elizabeth settles herself beside him in front of the fire,

“For now.” She holds a piece of paper in her hand.

“What is that?”

Leaning into his side, she opens it up and reads, “’His name is John.’ This will have to go in the baby book.”

“Today is a day we will want to remember.”

Silently the couple watch the flames dance. At last Elizabeth can bare the silence no longer. “Zacharias, why John? You told me long ago what we would name him, and, frankly with you being deaf and mute for the last nine months, it was too much work to ask you about it. But our friends are right. It’s not a family name. It’s a kind of unusual name at that. Where did you come up with it?”

“The angel told me his name was John.”

He states it so plainly, so matter of factly, that Elizabeth almost misses it’s significance. Almost, but not quite. “The what?!”

“The angel. Gabriel. “Who stands in the presence of the Lord.” At least that’s how he introduced himself.”

“An angel named Gabriel introduced himself to you.” She pushes back to see his face better. The low light makes it difficult to make out his distinct features, but she knows them by heart. “When you came out of the Holy Place, your eyes were so bright, and you couldn’t speak or hear. It was so clear you had received some kind of message, but an angel! You saw him? What did he look like? What else did he say? Why did he take away your speech? What did you think when you saw him?”

He can’t help but play with her a little bit. For so long communication had been hobbled by hand gestures and bad penmanship, he had nearly forgotten how much fun it was to tease her. “You know the most important parts. The child you just tucked into bed is proof of that.”

She crosses her arms and with a sigh reminds him, “You didn’t even tell me that part until even I had begun to think I was with child. You scratched on paper, “you are with child. His name is John.” Then nothing more.”

“Did you save that one for the baby book?”

“Don’t change the subject, dear.” She knows exactly what he is up to. “I need details.”

“Then details you shall have.” He turns toward her, and drops his voice, “It was a dark and stormy night—“


**Come back tomorrow for more!

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