Today is week 3 of Advent and every reading I have seen all focus on the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. It was also my reading today too, from this there was one particular aspect which struck me fresh as I studied this passage from Luke 1:1-25.
That fresh insight is how God’s big plan for salvation for mankind and how His plans for our individual lives are intertwined.
Israel had waited 400 years for this promised Messiah to come. Long, long years of waiting, hoping, losing hope, hoping again, and still waiting. But God had a plan, He had made a covenant with David and had promised that “Your house and your kingdom will stand before me permanently, your dynasty will be permanent” (2 Sam 7:16)
That was God’s big plan.
But when we look at this passage, we see how this Big plan comes down to be little, squeezed down to one particular family’s life! From verse 8 we see that at this particular time in space and history there was a priest called Zechariah, he just happened to be on duty in the temple, it just happened that he was chosen to go into the Holy of Holies at that time.
The people were outside praying and suddenly Zechariah’s routine duties were dramatically interrupted by an angel! An Angel with startling news: that his prayers were going to be answered and that they would have a son called John who would be a forerunner of Messiah! Wow, wow, wow! How could this be? Both he and Elizabeth were old?, But God is the God of the impossible and it would be, it was part of the plan.
It is this intersection of plans which I find intriguing: God has a big plan spanning thousands of years (just like one day to Him) and our life span is so short, so small within that time-line, yet for us God is there with a plan for us, for us to also be part of the big picture! We live both within the Big picture and the smaller picture of our own lives.
To me that is pretty awesome! And I pray for open eyes to see that bigger picture.
So in our times of waiting, hoping, losing hope, hoping and praying more and more waiting we can take encouragement that our God is faithful and He will fulfill both His big plan and the smaller plans for our own lives.