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GHIRLANDAIO, Domenico Zacharias Writes Down the Name of his Son Fresco Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence. Public Domain

GHIRLANDAIO, Domenico Zacharias Writes Down the Name of his Son Fresco Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence. Public Domain

Can the voiceless speak? Zechariah was struck mute when he questioned the veracity of an acutely personal Advent vision while he was performing his set priestly duties in the temple. Luke 1:5-17. (Never say serving on a church roster is boring and humdrum!)

Apparently so. We read on and find that when he emerged from the sanctuary, people wondered at his speechlessness and realised he had been visited by some divine encounter. He kept serving the temple in silence until it was time to return to his home – to await the birth of his son whom the angel, Gabriel, had directed him to name John – already marked as special by Zechariah’s community because of the speechless father that had emerged from the sanctuary that morning.

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