We are closing out the first week of Advent. Seven days have been spent with Zechariah stepping behind the curtain to the Holy Place. The atmosphere is awe inspiring. Behind this curtain God’s Presence is palpable. It is weighty. It is glorious and it fills this space. This is his first time in the Holy Place. This moment had to have been breath taking as he walked up to the Altar of Incense. Then the unheard of happens. Heaven touches earth in the quietness of his service.
A Holy moment and Zechariah shakes with fear. The Angel Gabriel overwhelmed the priest and this moment changes his life forever. He exits the Holy Place and everyone recognizes that he had been in the presence of the Lord.
As we prepare for the Lord’s Day tomorrow what are your expectations? Are you expecting to have the God of the Universe to meet with you there as you worship?
Seven is a number of completion, rest and restoration. We have completed our time in the Holy Place and now its time to take God’s Presence with us into the rest of our Advent Season.
How do we do that?
Do people recognize that we have been in the Presence of the Lord?
What do you do to engage with Your Creator as You seek to spend time with Him?
Do you expect to have a Holy Moment as you head to church tomorrow?
What do you do to engage in worship?
I stepped behind the curtain into the Holy Place last nite. I rocked my six month old grandson and kissed his sweet head. I inhaled the scent of his shampoo and thought of Mary as she swaddled Jesus, Son of God, and laid Him in a manger. I let my thoughts linger on Zechariah as he fanned the smoke of the Altar of Incense so that it might rise to the throne room of God. Then the hair on the back of my neck bristled, when I thought of the overwhelming appearance of Gabriel, and I knew Immanuel really is God with us.
Jesus still comes to change our moments. He still interrupts our service because He wants to change us. He wants to use us. He wants the world to recognize His people.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations. Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. You will be called priests of the LORD, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches. Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.”
Isaiah 61:1-11 NLT
God’s people will fulfill all this prophecy when we step behind the curtain and enter the Holy Place then let those Holy Moments change us.
“I was glad when they said unto me, “Let us go to the House of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1 NLT
I pray you will experience God as you head into the House of the Lord.