Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
God’s visitation. It is always a vindication of true hope, a vindication of those who have waited patiently for him – even if their patience is sometimes, no, always, stretched. God’s plans for Israel were long in the making, long in the coming. David had wanted to build a temple for God, but God did not allow this, but rather promised David another house, a dynastic house. His own descendants had varied fortunes, but there was clearly a steady, irrevocable decline from the glory days of David and his son Solomon.
And now, something unheard of is happening, something unplanned, even unhoped of. Something that shocked the priest Zechariah who, in spite of fervent religious practice, yet did not believe quite enough, and was dumbstruck in his lack of faith. But the faith he did have was vindicated, and his son John was born, and Zechariah’s mouth was opened and he prophesied, giving God glory for this great miracle. The visitation promised David was being realized in his own son, son of his great old age, an unexpected miracle. It was of God.
Do we still hope for miracles? Do we still believe? It’s a bit like Santa Claus. The inspiration behind the figure still exists – after all, there will be presents by our trees tomorrow. And something far greater, and far more real than Santa Claus is coming our way. And yet it is also someone far more elusive, and His coming is always a surprise, and a vindication. Far greater than the greatest of our hopes, but only coming through the loss of lesser dreams.