December 1, 2019
First Presbyterian Church, Sterling IL
The gospel reading for today, this first Sunday in Advent,
is from the first chapter of Luke.
Luke’s gospel is structured in such a way that will point us, over and over,
to the narrative of holiness, the fulfillment of the promise,
and the unfolding of God’s plan for all humankind.
As you know, our Advent theme this year is “Angels Among Us.”
The first Advent Angel we meet is in the temple, with Zechariah.
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were both of the priestly tribe,
and Zechariah was serving in the temple.
There were lots of priests, so they were divided into 24 groups,
each of which served twice a year for a week.
This was Zechariah’s week,
when he would offer sacrifices and blessings.
From each group, a list was compiled of those priests
who had never entered the sanctuary,
and those priests were drawn by lot to go into the holy of holies.
This chance usually occurred only …