BOTTOM LINE: God loves us even when we feel alone.
READ: Luke 1:5-25
5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lordʼs commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
8 Once when Zechariahʼs division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
You have no one to play with. You have no one to share secrets with. You have no one excited to see you. What does it feel like to be lonely? Can you think back to a time when you felt this feeling? What happened? How did you deal with it?
Elizabeth and Zechariah felt lonely. They wanted a baby to love and share their life with. Even though they felt sad and lonely, they still trusted God and God’s plan for their life. God knew that they were lonely. He knew what they needed and when they needed it. God works amazing miracles. God saw how faithful Zechariah and Elizabeth were even when their prayers were not answered, and even when they felt that God was not listening to their prayers.
God was listening. He was preparing them and preparing the people of the world. He was preparing a way for Jesus to come to the earth. First, the people must be ready. God knew what He was doing the whole time. He knew that John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, would prepare the way for Jesus. This would forever change Zechariah and Elizabeth. It would forever change the world and it would forever change us. John would be a gift from God sent to prepare the way for a God who loves us even when we are lonely.
Do you know someone who is lonely? Maybe someone who lives in your community, goes to your school, or even your church? How can you help? What if God is trying to use you to help someone in need? Can you make a list of people who are in need or are lonely? Have an adult help you write out the list. Tape it to your fridge. Pray for each one and pray that God can show you how you can help them. If God shows you a way, act on it! Don’t wait!
PRAY ABOUT IT!
Thank You God for listening. Thank You for always loving us even when we feel lonely. I am sorry for not always trusting You. Trusting can be hard! God, we know that Your love can fill our hearts and is enough for us even though we think we want more. Please change my heart so that I can see how You always do what is best. Thank You for sending John. Thank You for sending Your son, Jesus. Thank You for Christmas. We love You. Amen.