Weaving together the threads that make up my passion for the written word…as an author, editor, and follower of The Word.
The season of advent has begun, and the whole world is waiting.
We are waiting to symbolically receive the greatest gift we have ever (or will ever) receive. When in the midst of all the holiday craziness you have a chance to be still—to just sit and watch the fire flicker, enjoy the cozy charm of your Christmas tree, or view a gentle snowfall outside your window, can you feel it? There is an almost breathless anticipation building. A beautiful expectancy that we don’t experience at any other time of the year.
We find that same expectancy intensified in Zechariah’s song from Luke 1:67, which could in a way be one of the first Christmas songs. Jesus hadn’t been born yet, but Zechariah knew he was coming, and he had some sense of what that would mean. Jesus’ life (and subsequent death and resurrection) would be the climax of a story that had been building for thousands of years as the Jewish people had alternately suffered and triumphed since the fall of Adam and Eve, sometimes just stubbornly wandering in circles. The promised Messiah had been desperately hoped for, waited for, while an imperfect humanity struggled to follow God’s perfect law, always falling short.
There is so much hope, and joy, in Zechariah’s prophetic song. And we, from our vantage point in the future, already know how that prophecy was fulfilled, giving us every reason to celebrate right along with him.
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come and has redeemed his people.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, my child, will be called a prophet
of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.
I have added a lovely version of Ave Maria sung by Rachael Lampa (who has an amazing voice). For me, the haunting beauty of this song carries so much of that expectancy in it as we praise God, waiting with joy for the savior we know is coming…has come…to change the world.
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