Advent 9, 2018: Chosen by Lot

Zechariah’s heart was pounding, and he caught his breath. He had been chosen by lot to offer incense in the Temple itself! 

This was a once-in-a-lifetime event and indeed a high honor to be selected for this exceptional duty. 

Previously he had known only how it felt not-to-be chosen. 

What had he known?  An inevitable letdown at having the lot fall on someone else, and wishing he could have been the one, but always checking himself because a lot was really just God’s choice revealed.  He knew all too well the feelings of disappointment, but now finally, he knew how it felt to be chosen by God to perform this offering of incense. 


He tried to conceal his heart’s joy within the vestments of priestly attire and behavior, for he knew all too well what it felt like for the others looking at him … still waiting their turn which may never come.


His Story, Your Story: 

  1. Zechariah had many years of watching other men be selected.  It had nothing to do with worth or merit.  It was a simple choice by lot.  Yet this was the method used and considered to be how God chose people.  How do you think he felt all those years of showing up—dutifully—only to have others selected instead? 
  2. Have you ever been waiting while someone else was selected—maybe for a promotion, a perk, a basketball team, or a leading role.  Maybe always a bridesmaid never a bride? 
  3. How does it make you feel?

Self-Reflection topic: Being chosen, or not

Prayer:  Your choices, Lord, are often hard for us to understand.  Why are some rich, some poor, some healthy, and some afflicted?  When we question, Father remind us of what Jesus said about the blind man: “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:3).  May we accept times of being passed over or not being chosen with the same willingness of heart to do Your will as if we had been selected … by always keeping Your will paramount.  Comfort us please, Holy Spirit, during our times of sadness and rejection.  Lift us to be godly so we would not lord over others when we have experienced blessing or favor.  Help us to reach out to those who are sad, being as generous in giving as we are grateful in being grace-recipients.  May we see Your hand in both. Help us to see Your favor in the way You intend it—that Your work would be displayed in all our lives.  Grant us eyes to see and ears to hear.  We love You, Lord Jesus.  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 10, 2018

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