Missing The Obvious

Missing The Obvious

Daily Devotion for Advent | Tuesday, December 11, 2018

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” (Luke 1:18-20)

I love the interaction between Zechariah and the angel. The angel announces good news—the best!—to Zechariah, and Zechariah comes back with a politer version of “Sez who?” “How can I be sure this is true?” he says. “What guarantee will you give me?”

silent missing the obvious advent devotion immanuel lutheran church joplin missouri

Give Gabriel credit. He restrains himself, and he doesn’t say, “Man, you’re talking to an angel right now. Isn’t that a little out of the ordinary? Doesn’t that mean something to you?”

For being foolish and stubborn enough to disbelieve an angel, Zechariah gets nine months of silence. He won’t be able to talk again until he has something worthwhile to say. And when he does finally speak, he praises God who kept His promise, regardless of Zechariah’s unbelief.

It’s easy for me to laugh at Zechariah. But I miss the obvious, too. “Where is God right now?” I ask, my mind fixed on my sister’s illness or my friend’s troubles. “What is God doing all this time?”

Advent reminds us: God is here. God has come in that tiny baby of Bethlehem, Mary’s newborn Son. God is working in Him to rescue us. The great miracle of Christmas is that God really has come into our sorry world, down into the middle of grief and pain and sadness, to live among us and to save us all. He has not forgotten us, however we may be suffering right now. “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you,” He says. “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (John 14:18; Matthew 28:20).


Lord, so often I forget what You have done for me, and I am troubled and worried. Help me to see and remember Your salvation, and to trust in You with all my heart. Amen.

  • Did you ever fail to see something obvious, even though you were looking for it all over the house? Tell the story.
  • Name three of the blessings God has given to you. These can be anything major or minor, obvious or obscure.
  • What do you do when troubling events in your life threaten to take your focus off God’s salvation for you?

Brought to you in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministrieslhm.org/advent

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.