What do Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the Christmas Shepherds all have in common? 3 words! All 4 were visited and commanded: “Do not be afraid.” It is hard to live today and not have apprehension, concern, or alarm for what is happening in our nation and around the world. What might God have to say to you this Christmas season that would help you navigate the challenges of this time and circumstances in your life?
Luke 1.5-25: aIn the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named 1Zacharias, of the bdivision of 2Abijah; and he had a wife 3from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both arighteous in the sight of God, walking bblamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in 1years.
Luke 1:8 Now it happened that while ahe was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot ato enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer aoutside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And aan angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and afear 1gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, “aDo not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and byou will 1give him the name John. 14 “You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will adrink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit 1while yet in his mother’s womb. 16 “And he will aturn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 “It is he who will ago as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of bElijah, cTO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to amake ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Luke 1:18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For aI am an old man and my wife is advanced in 1years.” 19 The angel answered and said to him, “I am aGabriel, who 1bstands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
Luke 1:21 The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he akept 1making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.
Luke 1:24 After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she 1kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to atake away my disgrace among men.”
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