Advent 2021 begins today. Advent is the traditional season of the three to four weeks leading to the birth of Jesus. During this season, we are preparing and making ready for Immanuel—the arrival of God With Us, Jesus. Traditional passages of Scripture and rituals are associated with this season, including a wreath and candles. If you would like to learn more about the origin of Advent, click the link to read this article discussing its history and symbolism.
dew&Honey’s devotional readings and thoughts are not meant to replace the traditional Advent readings, wreaths, and candles, but a supplement to help us focus our thoughts and prayers in the midst of what is now a very profit-oriented season.
Because of time and the distance from the events recorded, we can forget the people of the Bible were breathing, struggling, hoping, stumbling, sinning, curious, and real people. We do them a disservice by making them be larger-than-life characters rather than the human beings they were. God’s word reveals their struggles, doubts, and failures amid their faith.
Zechariah had a daily life as a priest. He put on his garments, washed his hands, and oiled his hair and beard in the morning. Luke records that one of Zechariah’s duties was making sure the incense continued to burn in the temple. As Zechariah poured the resin granules on the embers, an angel appeared on the right side of the altar—the side of authority, the right hand of God. Gabriel met him at the altar. Gabriel is sent to proclaim the beginning of the good news.
Many times Gabriel stood before men bringing the message that their prayers were heard and answered. He came to Daniel, and now he comes to Zechariah. As we begin this season, let’s consider what the message would be to us.
Like Zechariah, are you troubled?
Would you need to hear, “Do not be afraid?”
Why or why not?
What prayers are you longing for God to hear and answer?
What would be good news to you this season?
Ask God to prepare and make ready your heart to receive His message.
Father God, oh, you are so far ahead of us. You are the beginning and the end of every hope and longing we hide in our hearts. You constantly pursue and come to us to give us rest. To provide us with peace. To reconcile us to You. Help us not to be afraid. I ask that fear would be swallowed up in your goodness. In this Advent season, I ask that you speak to us. As we pray, meet us at our altars. Assure us that You hear us and recognize the answer when it comes and trust when it is delayed. Like Zechariah and Elizabeth, many of us have been praying for a long time concerning something—help us trust in You for the arrival of the answer. I pray for Your blessings and revelation for us during this season. In the name of the Arriving One! Amen