Daily Devotion for Advent | Monday, December 10, 2018

And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. …” (Luke 1:11-15a)

zechariah afraid temple incense angel advent devotion immanuel lutheran church joplin missouri

When Zechariah saw the angel standing in the temple, he had the same response so many people do when they see an angel: he was scared. That’s just not something you expect when you are doing your daily work. Suddenly a glorious messenger of God was standing there, and who knew what he was going to do or say?

But the angel put him at peace as quickly as possible. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. The angel brought good news—Zechariah and his wife would have a son! This was not a time to be afraid, but to rejoice and be happy. God gave them a wonderful promise, and it would be fulfilled very, very soon.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am scared also. Suddenly I am reminded of how very small I am, and how great God is. The God who made everything—from the great spiral galaxies to the delicate frost on my windshield—who am I to speak to Him?

More than that, God’s perfect holiness forces me to realize my own brokenness. He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. And me? Well, let’s just say I’ve got issues. I am a sinner. And so I am afraid.

But against our fear, God, in effect, says to us, “Don’t be afraid. I will give you a Son, My own Son, Jesus. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at His birth, for He is born to be your Savior. He will bring you into My family, and you will never need to be afraid again. Instead of being My enemies, you will be My own dear children, because you trust in Jesus.”


Dear Father, thank You for giving us peace with You through Your Son Jesus, our Savior. Amen.

  • What is the most awe-inspiring thing you’ve ever seen?
  • When you are afraid of something, how do you handle that fear? What kind of things do you do?
  • The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (see Psalm 111:10). What do you think is the difference between good, healthy fear and unhealthy fear of God?

Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour

Learn More

About These Devos

THE COMING KING Advent Devotions 2018

The coming Savior’s birth was foretold by the prophets of old and later experienced by many who were on hand as He came into this world. Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon, shepherds, wise men from the east, a legion of angels, and even King Herod—all play their parts in the Gospel narratives that speak of the Savior’s incarnation. Explore the many ways their lives were touched as God became one of us, for each of us, in The Coming King.

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.