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   In Mark 1:11 we find Zacharias, an old priest,

one among a questionable series of priests¹

running things,

standing beside the altar of incense

in the Jewish Temple,

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when a surprising thing

happens

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   An angel of the Lord appears to him with an important message. This sort of thing apparently–from the records we have–hadn’t happened in a long, long time.

   How could this happen back then? And why to Zacharias who was old, childless, and seemingly ordinary?

  Accord to verse 6, he and his wife “were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.”²

   While these words are not directed to us, they what God expects of people who trust in and follow him: “walk blamelessly in commandments and requirements of the Lord.”

   Sounds general and simple. Nothing new.

   The Christian walk involves endlessly inspecting those “commandments and requirements” as they involve our daily lives.

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   ¹ Roman rule affected many instructions in the Torah about what God wanted and expected. In that context, Zacharias and his wife obviously “did their best” to follow God in whom they obviously trusted. This was rewarded by the angel’s message that they would have a child in their old age, John the Baptist, who would be the forerunner of Christ. This promise, of course, would be tempered by sorrow as John was eventually taken and beheaded.

   ² Living correctly and well involves inspecting God’s commandments given long ago and following them. Wherever we live, and regardless of circumstances, we’re expected to touch base with the rules that still stand, though we are free in Him. (From an early morning devotional reading.)