5In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. 8Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, 9he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. 10Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. 16He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.
- Prayerfully listen to the Scripture throughout the week by clicking on the audio link above. As you listen, familiarize yourself with the message of the passage and consider what the Scripture means – in general and for you specifically.
- Consider practicing the holy listening exercise know as Sacred Reading, which involves listening to the Scripture three times:
- Click on the audio link above. As you listen the first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture. What is God saying to you in this Scripture?
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time. As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life. Why is God speaking this message to you?
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time. As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today. How does God want you to respond to this holy message?
- As you engage the Scripture during the week, consider these four important questions:
- What am I hearing in this Scripture?
- What does this Scripture say about God?
- What does this Scripture say about me and the world?
- What is God asking me to do in response to this Scripture?