Advent - Day 1: A Tiny Hope - From Skepticism to Singing
A TINY HOPE
Luke 1:18; 78-79 In Luke 1:18, the angel appeared to Jesus’ uncle Zechariah, and told him to get ready for something wonderful to happen. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth longed for a baby, but had given up hope.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What hope have you given up on? What disappointments have you faced this year?
When the angel promised they would have a son, Zechariah’s response was “How can this be?” The flame of hope had died, and left a cold, ashy, grey skepticism in Zechariah’s heart.
It leaves us wondering how to rekindle a tiny hope when it has been snuffed out by disappointment.
Let’s read on in Zechariah’s story.
In Luke 1:78-79, Zechariah is a different man. He is singing of great expectations for his newborn baby boy, John. He can tell that something else is about to happen, that the birth of his son is simply a spark that comes before a fire. The morning light is about to break upon them. Something brilliant is about to happen. The Light of the World is coming!
What changed Zechariah’s heart from skepticism to singing?
After Zechariah’s initial response to the angel’s announcement, he was struck mute and had to live in silence. For his wife’s entire pregnancy, Zechariah couldn’t speak. How did the silence help him to see things differently? God silenced his doubts and his questions, and instead he simply watched his wife’s belly grow month by month as God fulfilled his promise in front of Zechariah’s eyes.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What might you notice if you were silent?
Practice some silence now. Put a two minute timer on your phone, close your eyes, and just sit in silence.
Breathe in and out slowly, noticing your breath. And if you feel your thoughts wandering, ask God the simple question: “What do you want me to notice?”
Perhaps this Advent season, God wants to reignite hope in your heart. Make some space for silence each day, whether it’s following this Bible reading plan, going for a short walk on your own in stressful moments, or prayerfully meditating in silence on the promises of God. Let hope arise as you clear out the clutter of your questions and simply sit with God in the silence of His love.
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