Luke 1:8-9 NIV
8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
Do you ever feel like your life of faith and worship have nothing to show for them, that you do all the things that you’re meant to, but nothing seems to make a difference? Maybe Zechariah felt like that. He and his wife had lived obedient lives and yet the chances are that they and others would have seen their lack of children and viewed them as unfruitful or overlooked by God. In many ways this reflected the life of the nation, the priests regularly obediently came to the temple to worship, but the land was still occupied by the Romans and God remained silent. No doubt when he drew the lot Zechariah was excited, it was an honour, but did he expect anything to happen? Did he act out of anticipation or did he simply act out of obedience? Sometimes obedience is all we have, but don’t dismiss it, for God sees our obedience and sees us as righteous because of it. And sometimes he surprises us…
Lord, we believe you are present and active, even if you appear absent. Help us to develop the maturity to keep going, living in obedient faith when we are full of hope and when we have none.