Herod was the first Jewish king to take the throne in Judea since the fall of the southern Kingdom 580 years before. For almost 600 years Jews had been humiliated and enslaved under the Babylonians, Persians, the Greeks under Alexander the Great, Egypt and the Syrians. Now during this time, it is the mighty Roman Empire that is really calling the shots. 

Israel was in chaos. Their ruler Herod, merely a puppet king. He was not a spiritual leader, nor a role model. He built temples and idols to false gods and brought the violent Roman games into the land. The outside influences flooded in from the surrounding areas as well. The economy was unpredictable, there was no sense of stability or security. Oppression was always just around the corner.  

In such circumstances, I can see how the people thought that the promised Messiah would be a political Savior. I understand how they thought that kind of Messiah would “fix” things. Many times I also have my ideas of what the Savior will do in my life. I try to guess the song He will sing. 

It is in the midst of this brokenness that we hear the first notes of the music of the incarnation. 

Zacharias, a priest, was going about his duties in the temple. Faithfully serving despite the condition of his country and the world around him.  Zacharias and Elizabeth were a power couple. Everyone was excited about their marriage and their potential. Yet as so often happens, the song doesn’t go how we imagined. 


In this time infertility was scene as a curse, a condition brought on by some wrongdoing. 

So now this power couple, the ones who everyone had such dreams for, are now humbled and broken, walking amongst the shards of shattered hopes and cultural shame. Yet even still, they walked with God despite their broken expectations, following a melody in their life that was unfamiliar from the one everyone told them to expect, yet directed by the Savior, they longed to see.  


Morning Pause: As you start the day, in what areas is God calling you to be faithful to serve, despite broken expectations? How has the song of God in your life gone differently than how you expected or hoped it would?

Afternoon Pause: In the midst of this day, take time to stop, to breathe and to listen for the song of God. What is He calling you to do, where is He calling you to trust? How can you faithfully serve even in the midst of the brokenness you may see around you? How can you encourage someone else who may be laboring alongside you?

Evening Pause: As you look back on this day, how did you see God work? Did you let false expectations control your spiritual life and devotion? Did you look for the Savior you wanted or did were you open to receive the Savior you need?