Today we reflect on two seemingly similar, yet vastly different, questions in the passages we read. The messenger – Gabriel – is the same. The message – an announcement of a baby boy’s birth – is similar. Yet, the attitude of the recipient made all the difference.
In verses 11-18, Zechariah receives the promise of a son. A long-awaited, much-prayed-for baby. Yet, he doubted and questioned God. He asks, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”(vs 18).
Zechariah doubted God and His goodness and power. He believed more in his inability than God’s ability. His attitude brought admonition - Zechariah’s mouth was temporarily sealed.
In verses 30-31, Mary received the promise of a son. The long-awaited Messiah. But her attitude is markedly different. “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Vs 34)
She didn’t doubt God’s ability to bring his plan to pass. She was merely asking God how He would accomplish what she believed He would do. Her attitude brought blessing - more than she asked or imagined!
As we go into the Christmas season, are we questioning God and doubting His power? Or, are we trusting that He works things out according to His plan and good pleasure?
Father God, I come to you humbly, knowing that when You speak, You act, and when You promise, You fulfill. Help me never to doubt Your power or Your goodness. Thank You for fulfilling Your Word and being gracious even when I give in to fear. Amen