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 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.”
Zechariah and Elizabeth had given up any hope of having children. They were well past childbearing years. When an angel appeared and promised a child, Zechariah found the news hard to believe. Sometimes even news from an angel seems farfetched. Zechariah told the angel that he was too old to have children and boldly asked, “How can I be sure of this?”
The angel did not mince words. He was quick to share his credentials. He said, “I am Gabriel,” a name that means “mighty man of God.” Now Zechariah was trembling. He realized that the angel written about in the Old Testament book of Daniel was the one speaking to him. Gabriel continued, “I stand in the presence of God,” confirming that the message was from God Himself. To prove that the promise was true, Gabriel explained that Zechariah would not be able to speak until the day of the baby’s birth.
Some promises from God are hard to believe. In fact, many—like this one, a baby born to parents past childbearing age—are outside the realm of human explanation. Christmas is filled with such miracles. An angel appearing to Mary. A baby born to a virgin. Joseph’s dream. Angels appearing to shepherds. The star. A warning to the wise men. Christmas is filled with miracles. Would you expect anything less when God took on flesh and lived among us?
Father, thank You for the miracles of Christmas. Thank You for bolstering my belief and strengthening my faith. Thank You for giving me the proof I need for the inevitable challenges ahead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
For parents: Have your children write a story about one of the Christmas miracles. Share their story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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