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Jimmy Cochran Columnist

  So, here we are at the season of Advent once again. This is the period of time where the Christian Church begins to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth, which we know as Christmas Day. During this time, it is important that we prepare our hearts, our bodies, and our thoughts, all that we have so that we can honestly rejoice during this time of great celebration.

  In the first chapter of the gospel of Luke, we find that Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, was to have a child. The child’s father, Zechariah, was given this good news by the angel, Gabriel, however, Zechariah didn’t believe him and because of his unbelief, Zechariah was struck mute. He couldn’t speak a word during the whole time Elizabeth was with child. Not a peep. When the child was born, Elizabeth announced that his name would be John and all the community was shocked since normally he would be named after his father as was the custom of those times. When the people gestured to Zechariah about this, he wrote on a tablet, “His name will be John.” Immediately, his speech returned to him and he began to praise God and be a witness to all around.

  I think that Zechariah probably missed out on a lot of the excitement and the anticipation of his coming son. He wasn’t able to tell their neighbors how things were progressing. He wasn’t able to tell Elizabeth how much he loved her. He wasn’t able to tell people what they needed for baby gifts. Nothing. He couldn’t say anything and I think that writing out on a tablet probably got frustrating, so he just quit trying. But, when the day arrived and Zechariah actually saw his son and accepted God’s plan, his speech was restored and he could praise God with all his strength.

  Have you ever felt God was telling you something that you thought was the silliest thing you had ever heard? Like telling Moses that he would lead the Israelites out of Egypt? Like revealing to a young boy named David that he would become King? Like telling a young girl that she would become the mother of the Messiah? Maybe, asking you to share an encouraging word with that frantic grocery store clerk after people have been fussing at her all day? Perhaps, to give a few hours of volunteering at a local shelter or food bank? Whatever it may be, God may be urging you to do something to let people know of His presence in this world. Moses was a scared stutterer, David was a young shepherd, Mary was a teenager. If God used them, then He is surely able to use you … or me.

  Sometimes, we feel God is telling us about something that may be coming up in our future, so we need to trust Him so that we can anticipate what is to come. Like we anticipate gifts, guests and food on Christmas morning. But, especially as we anticipate the birth of Christ.

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

  Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, author, musician and minister.



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