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When we think of Advent and Christmas, often times we might have a tendency to skip over large chunks of Luke 1.  But the story of Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist needs to be included if we are to see the story of Jesus within the broader narrative of Scripture.

(If you haven’t read that passage, I would encourage you to do so here.)

Karl Barth would describe the story of Zechariah, the 9 month mute, in this way and he invites us into the story,

So now here we stand, simultaneously deaf and mute like Zechariah.  Ah yes, we only want to pretend to be next to him.  In spite of his unbelief, he was still a herald of Advent, one who waited for God.  Otherwise the angel would not have spoken with him.  Nor would he have become the father of John the Baptist.  When everything came to pass which he could not believe and could not express, then he was suddenly able to believe and speak.  For God does not stand still when we come to a standstill , but precedes us with his deeds and only waits so that we can follow.  And so we will accept—even with all that we cannot say, and with all that we have not yet heard—that we are also heralds of Advent.  We will finally believe, and then we will also hear. 

-Karl Barth, Watch for the Light

Be encouraged, because God does not stand still when we come to a standstill.

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