2016 Advent Devotional

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Prepare for the Impossible
Sunday, 11/27/2016

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In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.

Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Zechariah said to the angel, "How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years." The angel replied, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur."

Luke 1:5-20


Paralleled with the miraculous birth of Jesus is the miraculous birth of John the Baptist. John was sent into the world to proclaim the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. John the Baptist’s parents were Zechariah and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was barren, and both she and Zechariah were old in age. They had given up on the possibility of having a child when the angel of the Lord, Gabriel, appeared to Zechariah and told him he would have a son. In disbelief, Zechariah wondered how it would be possible, and the angel of the Lord responded by making him mute until the birth of his son.

As we prepare for the coming of the Christ child, we should be mindful this Advent season that Christ’s coming makes impossible things possible. The miracle of Christmas teaches us to expect the unexpected. Because Christ has invaded our world, all things are imaginable.


God, with you, all things are possible. Because of the birth of Jesus, all that seems inconceivable is now imaginable. Open my heart and mind to receive the unexpected. Give me faith beyond my doubts. This Advent season, help me to prepare for the impossible.


How can we be in prayer with you?
Please let us know!


  1. What situation or circumstance in your life seems impossible?
  2. How does the good news of Christmas change your vision for this situation or circumstance?

Family Corner

Daily Scripture

“A messenger is calling out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord. Make straight paths for him.’”

Isaiah 40:3 and Mark 1:3


Advent means “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event” and is the time of the year that Christians prepare to celebrate the arrival of Jesus at Christmas.

Talk about and decide as a family how you will prepare for Christmas.

Plan ways you will prepare physically (decorations, cookies, etc.) and ways that you will prepare your hearts (following the Advent devotional, praying as a family, etc.).

Is there something new that you could add or take away this year to help you prepare?

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Highland Park United Methodist Church
3300 Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas