Barbara Higby

The Angel & Zechariah

Christmas Angels #1

Then an angel of the Lord appeared … When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him:  “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.” Luke 1:11-13

Zechariah had much to fear. He was chosen to enter the Holy of Holies, not by his merit, but by the casting of lots, a roll of the dice. An honor to be sure, but a fearsome honor with the possibility that he could die in that holy place. The tinkling of bells sewn at the hem of his garment indicated to those outside that he was still moving, still alive. In case of death, a rope was tied around his ankle to allow others to pull him out without entering the holy place at risk of their own lives.

The tension of entering the Holy of Holies was enough to cause Zechariah trepidation. And now, an angel appears—after 400 years of God’s silence—no word, no prophets, and certainly no angels. Until today, standing before Zechariah, saying, “Do not be afraid.”

On how many levels did Zechariah have cause for fear? Years of prayers for a child have been heard, but his wife is elderly. He will become a father as an old man. His son has a unique, weighty calling on his life. John will bear an anointing like the prophet Elijah and prepare people for the coming Messiah.

Do not be afraid, Zechariah. Do not be afraid of the angel standing before you, of the call on your life, of God’s plans for your child, of the challenging circumstances that lie ahead.

Do not be afraid, my friends. Do not be afraid of God’s presence, of His call on your life, of His plans for you or your children, of the challenging circumstances you face.

Do not be afraid of the present. God is with you. He has a plan. His angels surround you. Your circumstances are under His control.

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