December 3: Prepare (Advent 2014 Devotional)

Luke 1:8-13 One day Zechariah was serving as a priest before God because his priestly division was on duty. Following the customs of priestly service, he was chosen by lottery to go into the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense. All the people who gathered to worship were praying outside during this hour of incense offering. An angel from the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw the angel, he was startled and overcome with fear. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah. Your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to your son and you must name him John.


Zechariah is afraid, at first, of the angel! If you haven’t been able to relate personally to the Advent/Christmas story, this is where we all should see ourselves.

Zechariah was performing his duties and prayer, as he was supposed to do. Many people today think that God will reveal himself in extraordinary ways and in extraordinary circumstances. This passage today reminds me that God is showing us, he is even in the ordinary aspects of life.

This is incredible! We do not have to go very far or really even change our work routine to be in God’s presence or even hear a word from him. Here’s the catch: we should not be so engrossed in what we’re doing that we miss seeing and hearing from God. Even when we’re working, we still should have our hearts prepared to listen and see the Living God.

How will you live differently in your everyday life today? What will you do to prepare your heart to hear from God? When you do hear God’s voice, don’t be afraid. Trust the God loves you and has something to reveal to you that will help you on your path in life.

Thank you Lord for your presence even in the ordinary parts of life. May we remember you this day in all we do and not be afraid when you speak to us. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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