Do your grandparents ever tell you stories about the olden days and all the stuff they used to get up to when they were kids? Well, one day my granddad told me this story about a time so long ago it was before even he was born …
It happened in Jerusalem at a time where the Levites were priests in the Temple. The priests could only come from this one special family and then they had to be chosen to burn incense at the altar. They were chosen by lots so it was really like God let them know when it was their turn and then they only got to do it once in their whole life. It sounds weird to us now but I guess things were different back then.
Anyway there was this one priest called Zechariah and he was really old. His wife was old as well. She was called Elizabeth. They both really wanted to have children but now they were so old they thought they wouldn’t be able to. I suppose they were a bit like Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament.
Zechariah and Elizabeth tried their best to live a good life and they prayed that God would send them a baby. Then Zechariah got chosen to burn incense one day and he went into the altar all alone. While he was standing there he saw this angel just looking at him. I asked my granddad what the angel looked like and he said he doesn’t know – it could have been like the Angel of the North with massive arms, or it could have had wings and a halo or been playing a harp or anything. My granddad says it doesn’t matter what the angel looked like – what matters is what he said.
So then ofcourse I asked my granddad what the angel said and how he knew it was a boy if he doesn’t know what it looked like and he wouldn’t tell me. He said I had to get the Bible out and look up Luke chapter 1 and then read out verse 13.
It took me ages to find the right page but I suppose it was quite interesting when I read it. I read verse 14 as well. It did answer my questions so then I read the rest of the chapter.
It told me that this angel had come from God to tell Zechariah that Elizabeth would have a baby after all. But then Zechariah wouldn’t believe the angel because he thought he was too old to be a dad so the angel said he wouldn’t be able to talk until after the baby was born. Then when Zechariah came out of the Temple he couldn’t speak. The Bible says he wrote on a tablet but it doesn’t mean a tablet like my Kindle HD it means like a piece of clay or something and he scratched on it with a specially sharpened stick. My granddad says that’s probably how Zechariah talked to Elizabeth for all those months when he couldn’t speak.
Anyway Elizabeth did have a little baby boy but when she was still pregnant an angel went to see Elizabeth’s cousin Mary to tell her she was going to have baby Jesus! Then Mary went and told Elizabeth and they sang songs and they were all happy and girly and excited. Then when Elizabeth’s baby was born Zechariah wrote “His name is John” and then he could talk again and then Zechariah sang a song. They must have been a musical family!
My granddad says that baby John grew up to be John the Baptist but that, he says, is another story …