Monday, December 17, 2012
God Is No Gentleman: An Advent Reflection
When the angel Gabriel visited our world, he went first to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. There he met Zechariah, an old man who worked as a priest for the people. Well, not for the people, exactly. Zechariah would walk behind the curtain separating the holy from the unholy, and then he would walk behind the curtain separating the holy from the holy of holies. Whatever he did back there, it was for the people only in the most formal, most clinical sense. Mainly he was what you might call a maintenance engineer—he did what needed to be done to perpetuate the temple system. He was rewarded for that work with prestige, prominence and power. That's all well and good, but all the prestige, prominence and power in the world can't absorb the shame and hurt that a person feels when their secret dreams have gone unfulfilled decade after decade. Zechariah and his wife wanted children and didn't have any. So imagine the mix of feelings Zechariah felt when the angel Gabriel came to the Temple of the Lord and promised him a son.