It so happened that as Zachariah was carrying out his priestly duties before God, working the shift assigned to his regiment, it came his one turn in life to enter the sanctuary of God and burn incense. The congregation was gathered and praying outside the Temple at the hour of the incense offering. Unannounced, an angel of God appeared just to the right of the altar of incense. Zachariah was paralysed in fear. But the angel reassured him, “Don’t fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you – many will delight in his birth. [Luke 1:8-14]
This was ‘his one turn in life’ to enter into the presence of God. But what a turn it was. He could never have imagined it would be like this. Perhaps he just went to work that day hoping he would get it right, not drop anything, or make a fool of himself.
Yet this one moment changed his life forever. I reckon he changed from someone who was just going through the motions of life, disappointed about the lack of a child, to someone with a new spring in his step because of Gods word to him. It was like he was born again. Good news can do that to you.
One moment in Gods sanctuary is often all we need. Good news from God changes us. God speaks, we listen, then we do as God has said and our life is transformed forever.
I am thankful that this encounter begins the story which leads to the coming of Jesus and the access we now have to ‘turn everyday’ to God because of what He did for us.
Take a moment to thank God for sending Jesus and that through his birth He was working out the greatest plan of redemption the world has ever seen that means we can now enter into the presence of God every day.