Advent Reflection: Sign Language

Advent Reflection: Sign Language

I find myself sympathetic with Zechariah (Luke 1:5-25). He has heard an awful lot in his brief encounter with Gabriel, the designated angel of Advent.

With our kids, the news unfolds slowly. First, “Honey, I’m pregnant.” Weeks pass and we discover the sex of the baby. Months pass and we begin to discuss a name. Years pass before the child’s life begins to reveal what he will do. Decades pass before the impact of his life is measured.

Zechariah gets it all in one brief six-sentence encounter. Your aging wife, well beyond child-bearing years (like Hannah was in the Old Testament), is pregnant.  It’s a boy. Name him John. The people of God will rejoice at his birth. Like the ancient Nazarites, he will not drink; instead, the Spirit of God will fill him. Repentance will follow in the wake of his words. He will make people ready for the coming of the Lord.

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