Monday, December 08, 2008

Amy's Advent Commentary #1 - Zechariah

I always wondered when I was going to hit the point where I’d have studied the Bible enough that I’d officially know more about the Biblical history behind the text being preached upon than say, the average person sitting next to me in church (who, if I’m not mistaken was Mr. Rocker from the Communion entry earlier this year. AND it was Communion AGAIN on Sunday! It’s a sign! A sign of…something!)

I hit that point yesterday, and it may potentially continue through the monthlong series of advent sermons. Yesterday’s sermon was about Zechariah’s role in The Christmas story. Which I already know all about, because I researched it for a series of Christmas monologues I did last year. Let me just pull it out, I haven’t read it since an acting class read all of them a year ago. That was a fun night.

Ah yes, okay, here we go. Zechariah is a pivotal point in the birth of Jesus, but I decided I was gonna tell his story from his wife Elizabeth’s point of view, because, well, logically speaking, Zechariah can’t talk, so he can’t really deliver a monologue in a series of Christmas monologues.

Even yesterday, during the sermon, it was all about Zechariah, Zechariah, Zechariah. The dude can’t talk! Why don’t you try thinking about it from the woman’s point of view!? What do you think Elizabeth was going through? You know, the one who COULD talk?

Anyhow, so in the monologue, Elizabeth is talking to her nosy neighbor, Naomi, and explaining how it’s possible that Elizabeth’s pregnant when she’s over sixty years old, because Naomi’s been gossiping about it in the marketplace. And Elizabeth is telling Naomi the part where the Angel Of The Lord has appeared to Zechariah in the temple and saying that Elizabeth is going to get pregnant.

...Zechariah said the wrong thing to
the angel, which was, “How can I be sure.” To which the
angel replied, “Umm, because I’m an angel and I’ve got a
direct line to God. 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 proper time.” And so
here we are. I’m pregnant and Zachy can’t talk. God surely
is amazing, isn’t He?


Because if you ever happen to find yourself in the blessed presence
of an angel, you don’t ask “How CAN I be sure.” You ask
“How WILL this happen.” Not “How CAN.” “How WILL?” Because
if you’ve got a messenger of God Himself standing right in
front of you, GET SPECIFICS! You could get day and date of
delivery, for starters. Ask him what the deal is with the
morning sickness, and how to get rid of the swollen ankles,
and why is my eyesight going, and ALL that fun

Because, Naomi, when it comes to God’s plan, you don’t ask
How Can. Because the answer is always going to be the same.
“How can this happen?” “How can she be pregnant at 60 plus
years?” “How can Zechariah not speak?” The answer is
simply...because God says so. It’s not that you can’t
question God’s plan. But you don’t doubt it when He’s
telling it to you. Or else you find yourself a mute for nine
months! Ooooh, spooky!

We were talking in my Small Group the other night about God talking to us, always a fun fun NOT topic of mine. But if I’m honest, the last time I think God said anything to me was a few months ago, I don’t remember when, I don’t remember what I was doing, though I think it was probably me bitching and moaning to God about what could’ve been one of a billion things: boys, career, Pink Piggy, Roomie Heckle’s girlfriend staying with us for two months and three people sharing a bathroom just doesn’t work (she just left on Saturday. THANK YOU GOD.)

And in the middle of it, I get this thought, this sentence, and all it says is

Your story’s not over yet.

And while my Small Group oooooohed in appreciation upon the retelling, I distinctly remember my own response to it being something along the lines of

“Yeah, I know, but STILL!”

Which could possibly be a parallel between me and our boy Zechariah, couldn’t it. Zechariah says “How can.” Amy says, “Yeah, I know, but STILL.” Both responses aren’t meant to be disrespectful, but both are the wrong thing to say. Zechariah doubted God’s plan when God was telling it to him. I’m taking God’s plan for granted when He might be trying to tell it to me.

Uhoh. Can I still talk? La la la laaaaaa. Yes. Yes, I can talk. I just sang along to “Decode” from the Twilight soundtrack (I’m truly embarrassed to like that song.)

And I can still type. Some days I type more than I can talk. All fingers currently still working.

But I think God is telling me. He’s just not using words. He’s like every great writer, and using EVENTS as motivation, as evidence, as Look-at-what-I’m-doing-for-YOU. Isn’t it really cracked!? Isn’t it weird and warped and wonderful? Damn, did I just jinx it again? Heh.


Alexa said...

wise words! you might have shamed me into being more patient with the pace and trajectory of where God is taking me...well, almost. getting there. ;)

Michelle said...

That was awesome.

Patty said...

1. I want to use that monologue. How do I obtain the writer's permission?
2. This makes me think of "The Color Purple." Right when Shug is singing, "God is tryin' to tell you something." Let's go sing it!!