This week Carrie Buckner started our 2023 Advent series by sharing Luke’s story of Zechariah (Luke 1:5-23). It’s a story of hope marked by waiting. Zechariah had lost hope that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would ever have a child. And then one day while Zechariah was going about his work an angel appeared to him and informed him his wife would give birth to a baby boy. He laughed at the absurdity of the angel’s message – Zechariah and Elizabeth were old, after all. They’d hoped and hoped and then let go of hope. Waiting, after all, can cause us to abandon hope. The story of Jesus’ arrival, though, is one of hope fulfilled through waiting. Israel’s long-promised Messiah and the world’s redemption would come. Because, God is a promise-keeping God. And God will fulfill God’s promises to God’s people.