Luke 1:5-12 The Message (MSG)
A Childless Couple Conceives
5-7 During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honorably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old.
8-12 It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralyzed in fear.
Todays journal is a bit abstract. However I think that fear is abstract. We never know when it will hit and sometimes have no idea what precipitated it. In our scripture reading today we hear about a woman and a man who walked Honorably before God… They did everything right. It would seem that they had everything all together, but, one thing eluded them. Zachariah and Elizabeth had longed for a child. A son who would carry on the family name and yet they would never have one because Elizabeth was past the years of giving birth to a child.
It was time for Zachariah to do his work in the temple. It was time for him to carry out his assignment and enter the temple and burn incense. To enter the temple was a serious job. This was a holy place and to have this job you had to be above reproach. So can you imagine how startled Zachariah was when he looked up and saw an angel. Fear gripped his body and he was paralyzed…
That is the way fear is. We as humans encounter fear everyday. We are fearful to look dumb because we may not be accepted. We are sometimes fearful of doing new things because we don’t know the outcome. Some people are fearful of heights because they are afraid they might fall. Young men are fearful of talking to the beautiful young lady because he may be rejected. Young ladies are fearful to leave their home with out makeup or the perfect clothing combination because people may think they are ugly. I could go on and on. For many fear can be so debilitating that they become paralyzed.
In our story Zachariah was paralyzed at the sight of an angel. He knew that at the sight of an angel his life would never be the same. Everytime we read scripture and an angle appears we know there is about to be a disruption to the story line. Something big is about to happen. For those of us who like stability and normalcy a disruption strikes fear in our hearts.
Fear brings racing heart, sweaty palms, heavy breathing, and the desire to run. But where do you run? Your body is in hyper mode but you are surrounded by darkness and nowhere to go.
Today I ask you to think of the fears in your life. What makes you fearful? Can you trust God? Zachariah didn’t and because of that he was paralyzed.
Allow God to take the things that paralyze you and help mobilize you for the work of the Kingdome…