Daily Worship


Katy Emslie-Smith December 17, 2015 0 0

Luke 1:5-14

Luke 1:5-14


The birth of John the Baptist foretold

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 Lord’s 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 Zechariah’s 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 worshippers 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,

Rev 8:1-4

The seventh seal and the golden censer

8 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.

Zechariah, old,
Stooped as he crosses the honeyed temple courts,
To enter holy space
And light the incense, with arthritic hands,
Aroma of memory and intercession.
The one who had prayed for his people
Over faithful years,
This one burdening prayer
Unspoken in his heart –
The longing for a child.

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
Your prayer has been heard.”

Lord, we pray for the gift of faith
To believe that you know
The deepest unspoken prayers,
Our covered over longings
Which fail to find words,
To believe that in a silent heaven
Where all noise has been calmed,
The holy place,
The aroma of incense will hold this ascending promise,
“Your prayer has been heard”.