Luke 1:5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. 8 Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10 Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
This is the announcement of John the Baptist. Interesting how fertility is part of the story. Infertility in ancient Israel was a source of shame, understood not as simple misfortune but punishment for sin. V.5 makes clear that Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous people, but still had no children. Like Abram and Sarai before them, they were beyond childbearing years, so the situation would have seemed hopeless. But then God intervened and performed in them a miracle. Elizabeth bore a son – John who would later be called the “Baptist”, who was the forerunner to Jesus.
Today I’m reminded how God can do the impossible. It’s never too late. What hopes and dreams have I given up on? Is it possible that God’s timing has simply not yet come? What desires of the heart should I continue to pray for? Lord reveal to me your wishes for my life. Give me grace to remain faithful when hope seems lost. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.