Luke 1:5-25 tells the story of Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. He was a priest, and, while in the Temple burning incense, an angel appears and tells him that Elizabeth would give birth to a son—even though they had not yet had any children and they were well past normal childbearing years. Zechariah doubted the angel, so the angel made him unable to speak until the child was born nine months later. When their son, John, was born, circumcised, and named, Zechariah, finally able to speak again, burst into a song of thanksgiving to God.
When Zechariah’s silence ends, it is a sign of the silence that the whole nation of Israel endured for 400 years without direct revelation from God. But just as Zechariah is freed to speak again, so God begins to speak again—in a new, better, and richer way than ever before.