Advent 8, 2018: A Destination Reached

The quarters where the priests would stay were up the stairs at the Court of the Priests. 

Before reaching that, however, there was a band of space, the Court of the Israelites, where ritually pure Jewish men were allowed to worship separately from women and with a view of the slaughter tables, the square altar of sacrifice, and laver for washing the sacrifices. The Temple building itself was set in splendor at the end of the Court of the Priests with its polished white stone and gold plating. 

Twelve steps led up to the vestibule, but only the priests were allowed there.  Zechariah was one of those permitted.  He reviewed the scenery, understanding what the new week would bring with the various priestly duties. 

He smiled with full gratitude since he’d made the journey successfully once again.  Yes, it was familiar enough to be well-rehearsed, almost like a homecoming, but one thing remained uncertain: the assigning of duties by lot.


His Story, Your Story: 

  1. How do you feel when you’ve reached a destination or accomplished a goal? 
  2. When you have been traveling for work, how does reaching the business destination differ from journeys for vacation or a return back to your home? 
  3. How does your view of uncertainty change, depending upon the purpose of your journey: work or vacation?

Self-Reflection topic: Reaching destinations, accomplishing goals

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, help us to remember that Your time on earth was both a journey and culminated in accomplishing the most impactful goal known to man.  Ministry happened in both places: along Your journey and in accomplishing Your goal.  Help us never to minimize the impact of a journey or the importance of keeping our eyes set upon the goal, remembering that both are important.  As Your Word reminds us, Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Help us to establish good and wise goals and to have joy in reaching the final destination.  May we follow Your example and that of your servant Paul recorded in Philippians 3:10-14 when he wrote, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  May we resonate with that goal and by Your Holy Spirit, be strengthened to completion.  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 9, 2018

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