December 17 - Zechariah

Gather

Play a game where one person has to try to mime something and the others have to guess what it is without them speaking

One of the characters in today’s story had to do that for nine whole months! Just imagine how frustrating that must have been for everybody.

Zechariah

Engage

Luke 1:5-25, 57-80
Every few months Zechariah would set off from his home and help to lead worship in the Temple. His special task was to burn incense, a sweet-smelling mixture of herbs and spices, a symbol of God’s holiness and the prayers that people were offering at the same time. He was all on his own in the most sacred part of the Temple when he became aware that he had company. It was one of God’s messengers, an angel who told him that he and his wife were going to have a baby.

Zechariah was a bit suspicious as both he and Elizabeth, his wife, were very old, but then the angel went on to tell him that this child was to be called John, and he was to herald the coming of the Messiah.  Before the angel left Zechariah was told that because he had not believed what Angel Gabriel had come to tell him he would not be able to speak.

When the time came to name the baby it was agreed that his name was to be John, even though it was not a family name. Then Zechariah was able to tell everyone just what had happened when he met Gabriel.

Respond 

As soon as he could speak Zechariah praised God saying:

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he came and set his people free. He set the power of salvation in the centre of our lives, and in  the very house of David his servant, just as he promised long ago through the preaching of his holy prophets: deliverance from our enemies and every hateful hand; mercy to our fathers, as he remembers to do  what he said he’d do, what he swore to our father Abraham –  a clean rescue from  the enemy camp, so we can worship him without a care in the world, made holy before him as long as we live.

And you, my child, “Prophet of the Highest,” will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways, present the offer of salvation to his  people, the forgiveness of their sins. Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.

Talk about how many links you can find with stories you have heard throughout the Jesse Tree.

Send

God answered the prayers of Zechariah and Elizabeth, but Zechariah couldn’t quite believe it when it happened. Why not commit to pray for something every day in January and make a note of when God answer’s your prayers.

You could make a prayer jar to help you