Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him...When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 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...Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”. I am Gabriel...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 appointed time.” Luke 1
And this will be the longest task: to attend,
To open myself From The Other, Ruth Fainlight
Bidden or not He will come. C Jung
It's not all about me or you
There is a relentless purpose about God that I need to be reminded about, even if it comes as a personal jolt - as it did for Zechariah in the angel's response. I can assume a certain passivity and distance in God: a common error as the crucifixion, and indeed the incarnation so quickly attest. Though Zechariah was slow to turn aside and towards his good news he did receive what he had prayed for, the brightness that comes with a long awaited child. It was not all down to him and his response - this is enormously encouraging and adjusting - for there is also the good will of God, and another reminder: I come to give you life, believe it.