The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold: Luke 1:5-25 NRSV
5 In the
days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged
to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name
was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before
God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of
the Lord. 7 But they had no children, because
Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.
8 Once when
he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9 he
was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the
sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10 Now at
the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying
outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of
the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When
Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But
the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been
heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him
John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many
will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great
in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before
his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16 He
will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 With
the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of
parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous,
to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah
said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and
my wife is getting on in years.” 19 The angel
replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to
speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 But
now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their
time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”
the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the
sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not
speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He
kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. 23 When
his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, 25 “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”
Daily Questions& Prayers
Sunday: Read Luke 1:5-7
Have you ever prayed for a
miracle? What are some impossible things
that God has done for you?
Lord God, I know that you can
do miraculous things. Make the
impossible possible, so that all may know your power. Amen.
What do you pray about? What do you hope for when you come to a
worship service at church? What do you
think God desires from our worship?
Dear Lord, you are worthy of worship
and praise. Help me to remember to honor
you, on special days and every day.
Tuesday: Read Luke 1:11-13
Describe a time when you have
been afraid. What or who helped you to
get through that scary time? Does it
make a difference to know that God is with you in times of fear?
Dear Jesus, I know that you
show up when I am afraid. Help me to
know that you are with me, no matter what. Amen.
Wednesday: Read Luke 1:14-16
Have you ever had a time in
your life when you were tempted to do something wrong, and then turned away
from doing it? Have you ever helped
someone else to get back on the right path?
God of all, I thank you that
you lead me and guide me. When I stray,
help me to turn around, to turn always toward you. Amen.
Thursday: Read Luke 1:17-19
Have you ever been told that
you were too young or too old for something?
What did that experience feel like?
What age of people do you think God likes to use?
Dear God, I thank you for the
age that I am. Help me to do the
impossible with the wonderful gifts you have given to me. Amen.
Friday: Read Luke 1:20-22
Have you ever had a time when
you were unable to speak? What about a
time when you took the time to listen?
What would it be like to not be able to speak for nine months?
(Instead of using words in your prayers today,
take the time to take five deep, slow breaths and listen for God to speak.)
Saturday: Read Luke 1:23-25
Have you ever had a time when
people changed their opinion about you for the better? What about when your opinion was changed
about someone else? What do think God’s
Dear Jesus, you know our hearts. Help me to look past the surface and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Amen.