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Recorded on December 1st, 2019

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Zechariah was brought forth to help end the cycle of falling away from God. He helped us to realize that Jesus is coming, hope is on the horizon, and today is the day it all begins…

Transcript of Sermon:

[Music] our scripture this morning is from Luke 1 5 to 25 in the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron both of them were righteous in the sight of God observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly but they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive and they were both very old once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God he was chosen by lot according to the custom of the priesthood go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense and when the time for the burning of incense came all the assembled worshippers were praying outside then an angel of the Lord appeared to him 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 your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to call him John he will be a joy and delight to you and many will rejoice because of his birth for he will be great in the sight of the Lord he is never to take wine or other fermented drink and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born he will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God and he will go on before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous to make ready a people prepared for the Lord Zechariah asked the angel how can I be sure of this I am an old man and my wife is well along in years the angel said to him I am Gabriel I stand in the presence of God and I have seen been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news and now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens because you did not believe my words which will come true at their appointed time meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he states along in the temple when he came out he could not speak to them they realized he had seen a vision in the temple for he kept making signs to them but remained too unable to speak when his time of service was completed he returned home after this his wife’s wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion the Lord has done this too for me she said in these days he has shown his favour and taken away my disgrace among the people the Word of God for the people of God thanks be to God I forgot to remind you all before I jumped in that for our Christmas series our Advent series we’re doing a narrative series so if you haven’t seen a narrative sermon before it’s different so there’s that can you imagine what it would be like to be a people who had not heard from God for over 400 years we take it for such granted that God is always with us over 2,000 years ago God came to the Israelite people through Abraham and called them his own and then 1400 years ago God came to them through Moses because they were oppressed and they were calling out to God and saying to God day by day God please save us rescue us it is too much we cannot do this anymore and so he did he sent Moses and they crossed the Red Sea and they became a freed people the nation of Israel United as one a people of their own under their own rule no longer oppressed but they were also human and we know what it’s like to be human or at least you do and in the desert and as they tried to become a group of people that could live together as one nation they struggled they struggled they tried so hard to be a united group and they had leader after leader there was their first leader after Moses Joshua who was so great and then there were the judges but the judges weren’t enough for them so they begged for a king and God gave them Saul and Saul failed and so God gave them David and David was wonderful but David failed and then there was Solomon and then there was King after King after Solomon who just couldn’t measure up who was so human that the human parts of him called him away from honoring God with everything that he was and so the nation of Israel ended up breaking into two and becoming two separate nations Israel and Judah but then even Israel and Judah separated could not stay united and those kings that led those nations couldn’t keep it together they couldn’t keep their eyes on God and cycle after cycle human leader after human leader the nation kept falling away from God until they found themselves right back where they started under the oppression of a leader of a foreign leader both Israel and Judah were once again captive of foreign leaders and God tried so hard every time the Israel fell away to call them back home to Grain them back in he sent prophet after prophet to tell them to remind them who God was what God had done to remind them of who they are as a people but it didn’t do anything and so there was a darkness that came upon the people where for 400 years the God that never failed to come back the God that never failed to forgive that never failed to show up no matter how much the people had strayed was quiet silence and the people were oppressed and struggling and broken but they still had one glimmer of hope one because the prophets before the quietness the prophets before the silence had promised a savior had promised a messiah the last words in the books that they had been studying the books that they had been holding near said to them that God would send a prophet a prophet like Elijah that would come that would that would prepare the way for the Sun that would make everything right again and today I get to be the person I get to be the one that tells them it’s happening it’s time the silence is going to end the Messiah is coming and I I all the angels that God has to call from I get to be the one that God calls on to share the news with his people that it’s starting 400 years of silence 400 years without the voice of God in your life and I today get to go to Zacharias and tell him that his son John we’ll be the one that the prophets told would prepare the way for the Messiah the one who would end this end ending cycle of falling away from God the one who would be able to break the chains finally that would keep people from falling away from God the one and only who would ever have that power today is the day the long-awaited day has finally finally come and I get to be the one who shares the news I can’t imagine what Zacharias is gonna feel like I’m sure he’s gonna doubt what I have to say I’m sure he’s gonna have no clue what to do would I have to say to him but I pray he hears me because whether or not he hears me it’s going to happen whether or not he listens to what I have to say it’s going to happen because the Messiah is coming and someone has to prepare the way and God chose him jesus is coming hope is on the horizon and today is the day that it begins what are we gonna do with that hope because hope my friends is coming to us today let’s pray God we love you we thank you for your love your grace your mercy you promised a messiah you promised one who would call us home finally and completely without sin without falling away and you never fail us Lord and in this season let us remember the real hope that you were answering and the fact that that hope is still real for us today we need that hope today God we need that hope in our hearts help us to hear you it’s in the name of Jesus we pray Amen