What Not to Say to an Angel

angel-1184180_640When God breaks in
it’s never convenient
and while it often means good news for the world
it doesn’t always mean good news for you
the bumbling human He’s chosen for a special task.
Like Zechariah.
Priest. Righteous follower of God. Observant Jew. Husband.
Old man.
Unable to produce an heir.
Waiting for his call home.
So, one day, he’s at work.
Kneeling behind a heavy drapery inside the holy of holies making intercession for the people of Israel.
It’s a big deal this task.
Everyone else is waiting on the other side of the curtain.
It’s a holy thing, he’s doing. Burning incense. Mediating before God for the sinners on the other side of the curtain. For the sinner on the inside. And the incense is rising.
All at once, he’s not alone.
Not sure why modern people want to see angels. Anyone in the Bible who ever saw one was pretty freaked out by the sight. Scared. Overwhelmed. Shaking in their shoes.
Usually, the first words out an angels mouth are “Don’t be afraid.” That should tell you something.
Even more because people still seem pretty afraid even after the angels tells them not to be.
So, the good news this angel brings is that Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, is going to have a child.
Okay, pretty good news because they’ve waited a loooonnnnggggg time but pretty freaky, too, because, you know, they’re old. Picture the oldest couple you know finding out they’re going to have a baby. Weird, right?
So, the bad news is that Zechariah doesn’t react brilliantly when the angel delivers his news. He wants to know how he can be sure what he’s hearing is actually going to happen.
I’ve never seen an angel, okay, so I can’t really judge but I can tell you that if you’re alone behind a curtain kneeling before an altar burning incense and some amazing being appears at your side and gives you a message from God, the wrong thing to say next is “prove it, man.”
Zechariah ends up with a nine-month involuntary vow of silence which must have made the whole experience for Elizabeth a pretty darn strange adventure.
When God breaks in
it’s never convenient
and while it often means good news for the world
it doesn’t always mean good news for you
the bumbling human He’s chosen for a special task.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had lived righteous lives before God and in their old age, He took them on a sleigh ride.
Are you feeling as though too much life has passed for you to be chosen by God for adventure?
Not so.
Take a trip to the altar this advent season, loved one. Let your prayers rise like incense. Be ready for God to break in.
Just remember, if an angel appears with a message just nod and say, “Yes. I’m ready to follow. Let’s go.”
Funny thing is, Zechariah had probably stopped hoping something would happen – he might have stopped expecting anything new from God
But God hadn’t stopped planning new adventures for Zechariah – He’s not done with you, either, love one.
(Read this story for yourself in Luke 1: 5-25 NIV)
**Dear readers, in light of the busy upcoming season, I’ll be writing short posts meditating on different aspects of the Christmas story – all from my strange and unique perspective. Hope the brevity serves you well. God bless.

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    The Conversation

  1. You’re right.
    God’s call came to us as we reached the ‘official retirement ages’. We now serve folks from our home across the ocean. A visible angel did not bring the message, but there was still an odd mix of outright confusion, gulping apprehension, and pure delight. We wouldn’t change the last year of thrilling adventure for anything.
    something of a modern day Zechariah and Elizabeth

  2. SO true…so easy to stop expecting something to happen, but God breaks through. Love it. Need it. I’m amping my expectations

  3. Anonymous says:

    Its true that you never know what surprises God will place into your life. God’s timing is perfect, even if we don’t always think so. In this world we should remember what God has told us, “Be Not Afraid.”

  4. About why people (not just Christians) want to see angels is they want something supernatural to happen in their lives. We live in a society that has hammered away at God and the supernatural realm. People desperately want to see an angel.

    But when God does break in, it might not be what they expect or what they were hoping for…but it will be quite a ride.

  5. krex_1 says:

    It’s encouraging to know God has plans for us, even when we think we’re not up for the adventure – and it forces us to walk by faith on a day to day basis. Looking back, those are the times I’ve felt closest to God, no doubt because I realized how dependent I am on Him.

  6. Loved this. Your take on it was powerful and humorous. God bless.