Here I am retired from active ministry, finished most of my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, and yet still feel on a holiday treadmill with no ‘stop’ button to push . What’s wrong? I doubt that I’m alone in feeling this way a few days before Christmas. Some of you may have no sympathy for me, none at all!
We need to take time, to shut a few doors, turn off a couple phones and computers, pull the plug on television and radio. Get away and closet ourselves…with the Lord. Shut our mouths and keep quiet. That’s what happened to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist in Luke 1. He had a visitor, the angel Gabriel, who told him an unbelievable tale of a future birth for he and his wife, Elizabeth. For years and years of faithful marriage, they could have no children. Now… this news? What, already? He’s thunder-struck! And the angel says that Zechariah will have nine months not to say one word, only to think about and meditate upon what he’s heard. Nine months silent. To consider what God has promised and start to believe the Lord.
Hole up… allowing the whole Word of God to settle deep within our hearts and minds. For nine long months, he’ll watch his wife grow large with child, feel the baby move and kick, plan for a new life in their household. Time to believe. Time to embrace… the promises of the Lord.
Spend a moment now reading Luke 1:24. Do you see what Elizabeth does after she conceives the child? Buy billboard space to spread the good news? No, she ‘kept herself hidden…’ She prays a lovely prayer of thanksgiving. A prayer from her lips to God’s ears. Just between them. Herself and her Lord. ‘She kept herself hidden’, the Bible says. Months and months worshipping the Lord. Praying and thanking and being silent.
Sometimes, not all the time, we need to spend quality and quantity time with our Lord. Hidden away, behind closed doors, private and secluded. Needing to squirrel away with your Lord? Jesus and you. If that’s how you’re feeling, you might as well act on those feelings. It’s probably the Lord knocking on the door of your heart, wishing to enter your tent and have a nice meal together. Jesus and you. No television, no horrible news programs, no smartphones, no music in the background. Jesus and you. That’s enough!
Prayer: Lord, in quietness, I find rest in You. In peace, I learn to trust and to move forward into your promises. In Jesus’ name. Amen.