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What we have read about the Christmas story, it does not begin in the New Testament of the Bible.
It actually began in the Old Testament beginning in Genesis; when the word was with God and we read that the word was Jesus.
Then it moves to the book where find Zechariah and Elizabeth as the first key players in the story.
Think of it as act one in a stage play where the first scene builds to the second and the second builds to the third till the whole story is completed.
In the book of Luke 1:7 it tells us about Zechariah and how he was a tribal priest and was chosen with honor to go into the temple for the first time at a very old age to burn incense.
This was a very formal honor and he had waited many long years to be chosen.
[When he went into the temple he was praying and an angel showed up right next to him. When Zechariah saw him he was startled and 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 shall call him John. He will be a joy and a delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.]
Elizabeth was a relative of Mary, and John would be like a cousin born before Jesus; but paving the way for his ministry. This was told and spoken before either of them were born.
As we continue to read the story:
[Zechariah had doubts and asked the angel, “how can this be? how can I be sure?”]
A logical response and question for they were both beyond the age of child bearing.
[The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, I have been sent to you to speak to you and tell you this good news. And 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.]
Everything was ordained and orchestrated by God in order for the story to be completed.
What we have read is this: Nothing is without purpose or reason.
Each player of the Christmas story was chosen, selected, spoken to and revealed.
Let us continue to see how God in his wisdom created this Christmas story.