Advent 1, 2018: A Long Walk of Reflection

How long Zechariah had been making this journey, he could barely remember. 

“A long time, that’s for certain,” he thought as he looked down at his sandals which he trusted would make the journey once again to Jerusalem and back.  “A bit worn…just like me,” he chuckled to himself.

“Oh, they’ll make the return okay.  Me?  More than a new set of straps and a patched-up sole would be required,” he concluded wryly as he reflected on the biannual journey of self-reflection and the inevitable battle against doubt, even so far as wondering how he stacks up on the priesthood scale. 

No one talks about it.

Is it just me or do we all put on a good show for the public,” he pondered, “wanting others to believe we don’t have doubts like they do?” 

It’s not priestly to doubt—definitely not something to confess to others in the priesthood.  Hearts with no leaven whatsoever—that’s what we’re supposed to model.  Pray through it.  Bury it from public view.  Confess it in the prayer closet.  “Model a strong confidence in trusting the Almighty.  Now that’s what I hope people will see in me,” he told himself to boost his confidence, to lift his own faith. 

He had his reasons for feeling this way.  He just hoped no one else would see it.  Doubting the Almighty…a terrible, faithless, contradiction in terms.  Zechariah sighed deeply at the thought as he turned toward the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Temple for work.

* * *

His Story, Your Story: 

  1. Where do you draw the line of distinction between failing to live to a perfect standard versus hypocrisy? 
  2. How is doubting the Almighty a contradiction in terms? 
  3. How do you reconcile an all-powerful God and all the sufferings in our world? 
  4. In what ways do you place expectations upon your pastors or theology professors that are unrealistic? 

Self-Reflection topic: Hypocrisy

Prayer:  Father God, I praise You for Your forgiveness and covering over my times of doubt and hypocrisy.  Help me to honor You with my life and to obey You in all things.  Lord Jesus, thank You, for the perfect life You lived and for Your sacrifice to cover my failings.  Holy Spirit, please strengthen me in my doubts and give me confidence in the truth of God’s Word.  Help me, Lord, to see myself and others through the lens of love with which You see us.  Transform my thinking about others as You transform me.  Amen.


By way of reminder, if you haven’t signed up yet, you can receive these Storyteller devotional studies in your email throughout Advent 2018 by entering your email address on the home page in the space provided in the sidebar.  Or “Like” the SeminaryGal Facebook page to access them there.  If you like these devotionals, I’d really appreciate your letting others know so I can continue to spread the Good News far and wide.  Blessings to you, in Christ always, Barbara <><


Acknowledging inquiries about the entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows:  

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series (2017), Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 2, 2018

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