The Angel Appearing to Zacharias by William Blake
Noah’s Ark and the Holy of Holies: both are sacred spaces where God acts. Here in the center of the holiest place in the Temple, an aged man lifts his hands to the Lord— longing, waiting, interceding, and pleading. All the emotions of a desperate people converge upon him.
St. Luke is presenting Yom Kippur, the holiest of holy days. Perhaps because he is so overwhelmed with this once-in-a-lifetime stand before God, Zechariah is not prepared to hear astounding, unexpected news. While he prays for deliverance, he does not expect it to come so clearly, so closely, so personally through his own wife Elizabeth and him.
Are you ready for the unexpected to happen to you? Remember the words of Jesus: “The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Luke 12:40).
Living righteous and blameless v. 6
Birth of John: gladness and joy v. 14
Filled with the Holy Spirit v. 15
A people prepared for God v. 17
This is the first of four weeks in Advent, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We read the Gospel of Matthew, except the Gospel of Luke for the season of Advent.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.