I have always found this story of Zechariah quite interesting. Here is a man Luke says is “upright in the sight of God.” He is even called “blameless.” Luke makes it absolutely clear that Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, are faithful. Then, Zechariah is chose by lot to enter the Holy Place. The priest entering the temple was a once in a life time chance and Zechariah was chosen. Luke is clear that everything was in Zechariah’s favor to accept the approach of an Angel with an announcement.
There in this holy site an angel, Gabriel, gives Zechariah a promise that was his deepest desire, to have a child, a son. And this Son would be the great prophet preparing for the messiah. Again, everything was in his favor to believe and he didn’t.
It is easy to judge Zechariah for doubting. I don’t think we are much different. We have the Scriptures and a testimony of the Holy Spirit’s work among us. Yet, we also doubt. We can speak and do speak as Zechariah, “How can I be sure of this?” During this Lenten season we search our hearts and we acknowledge our doubts. By so doing, we see the heart of God who loves us despite our doubts.
Dear God, I wrestle with my own doubts and questions about faith. Thank you for loving me despite my doubts. Open my eyes and ears to receive the faith you desire to give me so freely. In Christ’s name. Amen