Saturday, December 3, 2016

In Praise of Quiet Humility

Today is the 7th day of Advent, and the end of the first week.  As we come to the end, I want to return to the beginning story of Advent when God sends the angel Gabriel to visit Zechariah and what happens next.

Luke 1:5-7
5  In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6  And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
7  But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

We have read the visitation to Zechariah in the temple, the promise of a child, and Zechariah's doubt.  At the end of it all, Zechariah's duties are done and he returns home.

Luke 1:23-25
23  And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24  After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
25  “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

 What seemed impossible became possible.  Elizabeth got pregnant.  She is a quiet person in the story.  What she had before Zechariah left home was her own inward pain - she who had wanted a child could not get pregnant.  Then her husband returns home, but he cannot speak.  Did he write it out for her?  Did he get what happened across to her?  We don't know.  What we know is that "she conceived".    

Elizabeth is a quiet woman in the story, but what for her was shame is now turned into joy.  After all of these years of trying, she is going to have a baby.  
Can't say God and impossible in the same sentence!


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