Bible: Lk 1:5-25
Birth Announcement of John the Baptist
1:5 During the reign 1 of Herod 2 king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to 3 the priestly division of Abijah, 4 and he had a wife named Elizabeth, 5 who was a descendant of Aaron. 6 1:6 They 7 were both righteous in the sight of God, following 8 all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 9 1:7 But they did not have a child, because Elizabeth was barren, 10 and they were both very old. 11
1:8 Now 12 while Zechariah 13 was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 14 1:9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, 15 to enter 16 the holy place 17 of the Lord and burn incense. 1:10 Now 18 the whole crowd 19 of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. 20 1:11 An 21 angel of the Lord, 22 standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared 23 to him. 1:12 And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, 24 was seized with fear. 25 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, 26 and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you 27 will name him John. 28 1:14 Joy and gladness will come 29 to you, and many will rejoice at 30 his birth, 31 1:15 for he will be great in the sight of 32 the Lord. He 33 must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 34 1:16 He 35 will turn 36 many of the people 37 of Israel to the Lord their God. 1:17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord 38 in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, 39 to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”
1:18 Zechariah 40 said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? 41 For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” 42 1:19 The 43 angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands 44 in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring 45 you this good news. 1:20 And now, 46 because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, 47 you will be silent, unable to speak, 48 until the day these things take place.”
1:21 Now 49 the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they began to wonder 50 why he was delayed in the holy place. 51 1:22 When 52 he came out, he was not able to speak to them. They 53 realized that he had seen a vision 54 in the holy place, 55 because 56 he was making signs to them and remained unable to speak. 57 1:23 When his time of service was over, 58 he went to his home.
1:24 After some time 59 his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, 60 and for five months she kept herself in seclusion. 61 She said, 62 1:25 “This is what 63 the Lord has done for me at the time 64 when he has been gracious to me, 65 to take away my disgrace 66 among people.” 67