Ah, the joys of modern technology! I received an unexpected FaceTime call from my granddaughter, Robyn, the other day. Being the young senior citizen I am, I quickly moved the phone from my ear so I could see her beautiful face. Since Van and I were on a retirement adventure together, I put the phone on speaker and we both chatted with Robyn. Those few minutes filled my heart with joy for days.
We caught up on the day-to-day going on in our lives. Robyn shared about school and band and spending time over Thanksgiving vacation with her friend, Emma. Van and I talked about our new house and getting to know our new community. We laughed and promised to talk again soon.
While I didn’t expect a phone call from Robyn right then, my phone ringing didn’t surprise me. And with caller ID, I knew who was calling before I answered. I had a pretty good idea of what the content of the conversation as soon as I saw Robyn’s name.
But a little more than 2000 years ago, God sent His messenger, the angel Gabriel, on unexpected visits. Without warning, Gabriel appeared twice, once to Zechariah and once to Mary.
After years of prophecy, warnings about God’s punishment due to their continued turning away, God was silent for 400 years. Israel waited for the hope the prophets also promised. The Messiah they expected a mighty king to defeat their enemies and captors, returning Israel to the golden years of King David.
Interrupted in the middle of their ordinary lives, both Mary and Zechariah responded with surprise. Who could blame them? No caller ID let them know who wanted to speak with them. And since Gabriel wasn’t on their contact list, they didn’t recognize him. Since he appeared in person, they couldn’t block the call.
Gabriel, who stood in the presence of God (Luke 1:19 ), sent to deliver God’s unexpected message to common, everyday people. The message, however, was anything but ordinary. Two unexpected babies, both planned by God, that changed the lives of Zechariah and Mary. Good news that changes the lives of everyone who believes.
The Savior was coming.
Sunday, December 10, is the second Sunday of Advent. In our home, we light the white candle on our Advent wreath, representing the angels. This week, join me as I focus on the impact of the angel’s announcements to Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph, and their responses.
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