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According to the custom of the priesthood, (Zechariah)
was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and
burn incense (Luke 1:9).
Luke’s account provides us rich detail regarding Zechariah
the priest and the part he played in the first Christmas.
Herod the Great was king over Judea at the time. We learn
that Zechariah belonged to the priestly division of Abijah,
one of 24 divisions of priests. Each of these divisions
worked two weeks out of the year at the Jerusalem temple.
Each afternoon these priests cast lots to see who would
enter the temple alone to burn incense.
Luke takes us to the day the lot fell to Zechariah. It may
have looked like luck or chance to us, but Zechariah knew
better. God was inviting him into His presence. As
Zechariah smelled the clouds of sweet, fragrant incense
rising to heaven, he knew God was pleased with the prayers
His people were offering to Him. These were prayers that
rose from hearts that believed His ancient promise to send
their Savior.
At Christmas we are often invited to other people’s houses.
Sometimes we get the honor of a special invitation. But God
extends a greater invitation to us. Like Zechariah we can
enter His presence in His house. And not just once in a
lifetime can we do this, but every week. At the same time
He promises to make His home in us. What a great privilege
and honor to sit in God’s presence and learn about His
saving love.
Heavenly Father, what a tremendous honor You give when
You invite us into Your house. Thank You for coming to us
and making Your home with us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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