No matter how many times I read the story of Zechariah, I shake my head in wonder. I understand how Zechariah was terrified when he came face-to-face with the angel. After all, I know that if I was standing in his sandals, I might have turned and run away before any conversation took place.
What I just don’t get is why Zechariah would doubt the news Gabriel shared with him that day. What was it that was so hard for him to believe? It couldn’t have been the part about the baby. Zechariah was a priest of Israel. He would have memorized all the stories in the Hebrew Scriptures. He would know about Abraham and Sarah being over 90 years old when they had Isaac. And he knew all about Hannah giving birth to Samuel while being a card-carrying member of AARP. Trust me, Zechariah knew God was fully capable of doing whatever God wanted to do.
Maybe what surprised Zechariah was that God would choose someone like him to be part of God’s miraculous plan. Maybe Zechariah found it hard to believe that God would take an ordinary old man like him to be part of something that would change the world. Just the thought of it would have left him speechless before the wonder and majesty of God.
You know, maybe that is the message for us in this story. God wants ordinary folks like us to be part of something that will change the world. I know it is hard to believe, but perhaps God is asking you to do something incredible and miraculous for Him. Granted, He probably isn’t asking any one of us to be the parents of John the Baptist or the Savior of the World, but He is calling each of us to be part of His story. How will you respond?
Before you answer, remember that Zechariah learned what might happen if you choose to argue with an angel. God is calling you and me to follow Him and to be His instruments. Rather than argue, maybe we should simply say, “Here I am Lord . . . send me.” If we do, I believe Christmas can still change the world.
NOTE: The artwork pictured is Zechariah and Elizabeth by Merrill Miller. You can purchase it HERE.