Luke 1: 19-22
19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 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 proper time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
I love Jean-Marie Pirot's painting, "The Visitation." As Mary and Martha (both pregnant) meet, Pirot uses 2 crosses to show how even John and Jesus inside their mothers' wombs recognize one another. What a moment of joy between Martha and Mary.
And yet, what stands out for me most in this painting is how Pirot includes Zechariah. He is in the corner and in the dark- unable to speak or participate in the joy of the 2 women. Zechariah may not be able to say anything yet... but we know that soon he will be able to. After John is born and circumcised, Zechariah is suddenly able to say a whole lot and most of what he does say is simply praise to God for everything that He had done!
We often might feel like Zechariah, standing in the dark... but isn't hope
knowing that like Zechariah we can look out the door of the dark place we are in and see what God has already done by giving us Christ, see what God is doing in midst through Christ, and know through Scripture that Christ will return? I believe this kind of hope is something that can only lead to praise!