Luke 1:67-79 

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

             “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

                        for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.

             He has raised up a mighty savior for us

                         in the house of his servant David,

                         as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

                         that we would be saved from our enemies

                        and from the hand of all who hate us.

             Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,

                        and has remembered his holy covenant,

                                     the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,

                                    to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,

                                    might serve him without fear,

                                     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

             And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

                        for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

                         to give knowledge of salvation to his people

                                    by the forgiveness of their sins.

             By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,

                         to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

                        to guide our feet into the way of peace.”


            from Rev. David T. Chafin, Deputy Regional Minister

            In the back of many a preacher’s head may lurk the same question that has crossed my mind through the years:  What happens if I lose my voice completely?  For Zechariah, it was a matter of lacking trust in Gabriel’s promise of a son that had brought silence upon him.  Tough life for a priest, or for anyone who realizes the consequences of faithlessness.  But the striking power of this story within the Nativity story, for me, is the outburst that comes when the silence is over, and hard-won faith is made sight.

            How do I wrestle through the obvious hard times of faith?  Would the first words from my mouth, after nine months of struggling through the painful silence of such a divinely imposed “attitude adjustment,” be like Zechariah’s Spirit-filled paean of praise? 


May this season of waiting compose a song for all the ages within me, O God,

and may my lips be opened to pour it out in praise!