“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to [Zechariah], standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 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.'” Luke 1:11-13
Happy Advent! We are entering 40 days of waiting. If you ventured out on Black Friday, I am certain you did some waiting. In the next 40 days you will wait in line at the bank, the grocery store, and the mall. You will wait to hear who is coming to dinner and who is not. And some will wait to see Santa only to leave with their child kicking and screaming in terror. You will wait for your favorite Christmas movie. And the children will wait uncontrollably to open their gifts under the tree.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had been waiting too. They had been waiting a long time for God to answer their prayer for a child, but Elizabeth remained barren. Now she was beyond child-bearing years, and her body had grown old. Their hope for a child to call them mama and daddy was gone. But they continued to serve the Lord with faithfulness.
Have you been waiting a long time? Have you grown old, tired, weary in waiting for God to answer your prayer? At times it seems that He has forgotten His faithful ones. But Zechariah and Elizabeth didn’t just wait; they waited in faithfulness. They continued to serve the Lord with expectancy.
Advent is not just about waiting. It is about waiting with expectancy. Are you preparing for the Lord to answer? Are you waiting with eager expectancy that at any moment God will appear?
Let’s take the next 40 days to do more than wait for Christmas. Let’s prepare for the Lord to appear. And may you wait with expectancy and know that, like Zechariah, your prayer has been heard!