Bible Reading: Luke 1:18-25
What do you picture in your mind when you think of the word – Silence?
To me, I think of snow. The birds are quiet, the city is nestled in their beds sleeping, the flakes are falling, everything is quiet. That is until the roof caves in from the weight of the snow, icicles start breaking off, cars start crashing from crazy drivers, & kids start playing in the snow. But before all that, it’s quiet.
Have you ever played the quiet game? What’s the longest you were able to go without saying a word? (This doesn’t count if you were angry at someone.)
Now imagine playing the game for 9 months! But you really do have something to say – you’re not mad at anyone (maybe yourself) but you have good news to share (ya know the stuff we learned about yesterday – being a proud papa & God’s work – oh, & that angel!).
After Zechariah calmed down…I’m sure he was crying – he was overjoyed, had a frightening experience, and frustrated cause he couldn’t talk. Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride.
Notice in verse 21 the people are freaking out, since Zechariah is taking so long in the temple. Did he fall & can’t get up? Do you smell fire…did he accidentally set the temple on fire? What’s going on? Nah, he’s probably alright – just an extra long prayer. And then he appears & something is obviously wrong – he can’t speak and the people notice (verse 22) cause he’s supposed to lead them in the closing prayer. They know something extraordinary has happened.
I’m sure it was the weirdest game of Charades anyone has ever played. (I doubt either Zechariah or Elizabeth knew sign language before all this. And apparently Elizabeth doesn’t know how to read, cause I would have been writing in the dirt.) But imagine him trying to tell Elizabeth the good news.
Angel – God – me – scared – angel – you – belly – baby – me – whadyasay – ain’tnoway – angel – mad – me – throat – mouth – mouth – mouth – fists – you – belly – yes – yes – God – baby – boy – talk – heart – God – talk – baby – falls on knees & begins to pray with tears streaming down his face.
So ya know how I said Elizabeth was embarrassed by the fact she didn’t have children yesterday. Well, now imagine the public shame she was experiencing…not only was she childless, but now her husband has been punished – a double humiliation. But that is not why Elizabeth hid herself. She hid in order to think! To ponder. To understand. To revel. To fully accept and acknowledge that the impossible is possible with God. In reverence, did she seclude herself in meditation & prayer. She praised God for blessing her with a child.
Yep, Zechariah was punished for his unbelief. He wanted proof. He couldn’t just take Gabriel / God at his word. He was receiving a lesson – a very long lesson – in trust. I’m sure Zechariah had time to think, ponder, & revel during this time as well. He surely couldn’t go around chit-chatting with other people, so he was left alone with his own thoughts. Time to think about how he handled the whole situation, how he could have done things different, how proud he was to receive God’s blessing, and how he wanted to shout for joy. Instead he was silent.
Ornament Ideas: Snowflake
Coloring / Art Ideas:
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