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Luke 1:47-66      Waiting for Christmas?


     Zechariah is accosted by the angel Gabriel. He is told that in spite of his and his wife's old age they are going to have a baby. He will be a prophet who goes before the Lord to prepare his coming. I usually read this chapter in one or two sittings, perhaps in one gulp swallow the whole drama. Zechariah gets reprimanded by Gabriel and is penalized for his lack of faith - so he can't talk about this great story! He is reduced to communicating with gestures. Actually you were an educated man, a priest, so I wonder why you didn't write the message down, Zechariah?


     While we may enjoy the unfolding drama and even the humor in it. Zechariah had to convince Elizabeth with some intimate moves, as well, it would seem. But what I think I miss is the amount of waiting in this story.   Zechariah must wait until he his wife and the bystanders understand his strange story. It seems the most they got out of it was that he had a vision of some sort. Then perhaps he had to wait until Elizabeth really understood that they needed to do something about the vision. After some of the appropriate activity they had to wait some more, perhaps a couple months before Elizabeth would report they had been successful!

     More waiting follows, all the normal months of waiting for a baby. And during all that time Zechariah waits, perhaps wondering if he will ever speak again. At least nine to ten months or more. And he waits with his celebration bottled up inside him. No wonder he bursts forth with a song after he says, "His name is John!" I can't imagine how happy they both were. Of course, Zechariah wasn't waiting for Christmas, but that was the only way to make this a catchy title. It was a pre-Christmas event. Sort of a celebration of Thanksgiving - thankful for the birth of their son, John.

     Personally, I don't like waiting a whole lot. I rush to get things mailed, often driving to a post office unnecessarily. Standing in line at a take-out window is my least favorite wait. I'd rather get out and go inside, walk a few paces and get some exercise at the same time. But waiting patiently for something wonderful, like the joys of Christmas, this waiting makes it all the more joyful for me. I hope it does for you my reader, too.

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