Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Vision in the Temple
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid Zachariah, for your prayer has been answered.” (13)
Annunciation to the priest Zechariah is the topic of today's meditation, where the priest had a theophanic experience and message of the birth of John the Baptist. Both of these priestly couples where just, righteous and delighted to observe all the commands even in their old age. During that time heavenly visions were very rare. However God is so concerned about Israel and the whole humanity. This divine encounter led to the birth of a new prophet.
Waiting is an art
A culture of impatience is prevailing everywhere. We do not have to wait for anything. But in the past if we want to buy anything, we would have to save our money until we had enough to buy it. Currently it is reversed as Buy Now and Pay Later. Instant satisfaction of our needs and wants are expecting even in the spiritual matters also. Contrary to it Zachariah and Elizabeth are the exemplary examples of waiting and hoping in the Lord. In them, we find the microcosm of the people of Israel longing for the arrival of the promised Messiah. Through this annunciation God fulfills His promise to Israel and also the personal need of a righteous couple. Like Abraham, they believed in “Hope against Hope and they did not weakened in their faith.” (Romans 4: 18, 19).
Worship Challenges the Faithful to Visionaries
The whole congregation and the priest were in a context of prayer and adoration. This worship is progressing according to the custom of Hebrew priestly tradition with many symbols and chants. Both the priest and the faithful community should have to seek a new vision from God in every liturgical celebration and the church is the place where we get such a vision. Vision is the ability to accurately assess the current changes and take advantage of them. The priest with proper vision can only direct the church into a Godly manner otherwise the service would be a mere mechanical or a ritual. We never lead people to spiritual or moral heights that we have not climbed. The incredible inner energy of priesthood cannot be allowed to burnout. As worship is administered with solemnity, the people must here the voice form above with everything is possible with God. Now a days the worshiping groups are overburdened with their problems and struggles. If they take liturgical prayers, chants, sermons, liturgical actions seriously they will hear the voice “Your prayer has been answered”. After all Zachariah and Elizabeth were faithful to the vision and submitted the child to God’s will. God has chosen the precious baby for the restoration of Israel and to make a path for the Lord.
Prayer: Lord help us to participate and lead our worship with clear vision and understanding. Amen.
Thought for the day: Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.
Seena Sam, Carmel MTC Boston.