Advent Devotional

Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24; Psalm 25:4-5AB, 8-10, 14; Luke 1:57-66


Reflect for a moment on the faith of Zechariah. After Gabriel makes him mute for questioning God’s plan for his family, Zechariah shows that he is as faithful as anyone. Disregarding social pressures, he confirms Elizabeth’s decision to name their child “John,” in accordance with God’s instructions. Then something wonderful happens: he opens his mouth, is able to speak, and praises God. The amazing thing here isn’t that he suddenly speaks, but rather what he says: his first words praise God.

Imagine that for a moment. Imagine you’ve been mute for months, and all of a sudden your voice returns. Wouldn’t most of us shout out something like “I can talk” or “my voice is back”? I know I would. But instead, Zechariah immediately praises God.

This is a story of faith that we all should try to emulate. All of us fail in different ways. We sin, hurt each other, and disgrace our God who has surrendered Himself to us. But like Zechariah, we do not have to settle for failure. The gift of Jesus’ advent is the fact that no matter how many times we fail, God still gives us the opportunity to change our course.

Like it was for Zechariah, the key to this change is steadfast trust in God’s plan. We may doubt initially, but our job is not to question Him, His ways, or His plan. Zechariah made this mistake. Rather, our job is to trust Him. Ultimately, this is all He asks of us. Zechariah learned this lesson and said without hesitation, “His name is John.” I pray that we can all respond to His call with the same conviction.

Thomas McAuley, Class of 2017, is an Economics major and Business Administration minor in the College.

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