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And behold, (the angel said) you will be silent and unable
to speak until the day that these things take place
(Luke 1:20a).          Read Luke 1:20-22.
I can think of few times during the year when I would hate
to lose my voice more than Christmas time. There are so
many beautiful carols to sing, so many thrilling songs. It
did happen one year in my ministry. I had to save my
voice to preach and, as a result, sat silently as our
members sang all those beautiful Christmas carols without
me. It was frustrating beyond all measure.
What must it have been like for Zechariah to be silenced-
not for a day or two-but for more than nine months? This
should have been the happiest time in his life. It should
have started with him stepping out of the temple, praising
God with a loud voice. Instead, he can only try to make
signs to communicate with the waiting crowds outside.
God has left him unable to speak because of his unbelief.
At first, the worshipers in the temple court wondered at
his delay since usually burning incense was a quick thing.
But when Zechariah came out unable to speak, they read
his gestures and realized he had seen a vision in the
temple. But unfortunately he was unable to tell them what
had happened.
The same will be true when he returns home to Elizabeth.
He will have to watch God's marvelous plan unfold, seeing
the dream he had long shared with his wife come true and
all the while finding himself unable to speak a single word
about it.
Heavenly Father, I confess my doubt and unbelief. Forgive
me for Jesus' sake, and fill me with Your Spirit that I may
trust Your Word and praise Your Name forever. In Jesus'
Name. Amen.
(Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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