Thursday, 25 October 2012

Thursday - waiting for a blessing

Prayer:  Divine Healer,  we thank You for Your mercies which are new every morning.  For health and strength,  for this day with its fresh opportunities of work and service in Your love.  Bless each one of us, and hold us together in Your love.  This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read St. Luke 1: 21 - 25

Picture this image …..  the people (men) are waiting outside the curtain for the Priest of the day to come and given them a blessing.  The people are standing with heads bowed waiting for the Priest.    And they wait. And they wait.  But the Priest does not come.   Now these people can not go up to the curtain and yank it open to see what was happened to the Priest, they must wait.   Nor can they call out,  “You whoooo,  are you in there?”  They must wait.
When Zechariah finally came out, he could no longer speak.  He made hand gestures to the people (men) waiting to be blessed and they realized that Zechariah has a problem -- He can not speak.  They then all say that he has seen a vision from God.    
So Zechariah had to spend the remainder of his Priestly duties not speaking (one Sabbath to the next Sabbath).    For you and I,  we wouldn’t think this a bad thing at all but for a Priest (or Minister) that uses their voice,  this would have been an exceptional hardship. 
While prayers can be said internally,  prayers for the people need to be said out loud. 

And when Zechariah went home,  he would not have been able to speak either.  (heh,  heh,  in Elizabeth’s mind,  this might not be a bad thing that Zechariah can’t speak J  )
Then Elizabeth,  Zechariah’s  wife,  becomes pregnant. She remains in seclusion for five months.     Why mention seclusion for five months?    There are no rites concerning the length of time a pregnant woman needs to stay in seclusion.    Sometimes our translation from the Greek is confusing.   The Greek word used is “perikrupto”  which means to conceal or hide.   The word also means “to put something around it”.    As we know that Elizabeth was a woman of faith,  perhaps the five months meant she surrounded her  pregnancy with prayer.  (We will find out tomorrow what happened in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.)
Elizabeth says, “The LORD has done this for me.  In these days he has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

Prayer:  We pray for Your help this day, O Lord,  as we face the duties that are to be completed this day,  decisions to be made, the temptations that may visit upon us,  the disappointments that may await us. Guide us,  strengthen us,  keep us, and grant that in all things we may act worthily of our Christian calling, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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