You are redeemed! Serve the Lord without fear, in holiness all your days (Luke 1:74-75)
Before we look at Zacharias’s song, let me ask you a question. If you had not been able to talk for nearly a year, what would you say when you finally could speak again?
One can’t help thinking that the mind and heart of Zacharias during those nine months had been filling with this song. And now it bursts out, the first words out of his mouth after nine months of silence, with praises for God and prophecies about the future.
His prophecies preview several claims of this Gospel:
By the time Luke’s Gospel is written, the Romans have destroyed the Jerusalem Temple, and news about Jesus has begun to spread beyond Palestine to pockets around the Roman Empire. In that context, no less than in the decades earlier when Elizabeth and Mary were preparing to give birth to their sons, the message of God’s peace comes to a world more practiced in the art of warfare than it is in the crafting of reconciliation (cf. Luke 19:42).
God’s peace stands in striking contrast to the peace of the Roman Caesars, during whose reign John and Jesus are both born and executed.
In the end, Zachariah’s song is not simply a way to announce the birth of John the Baptist, but rather a way to proclaim God’s faithfulness, God’s salvation, and God’s peace. During the season of Advent, as we await the birth of the Savior of the world, we can pray together with Zechariah, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.”
Prayer: Almighty Father, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior may we sing praises of The Prince of Peace and serve You in holiness. Amen.
First UMC of Fairless Hills
December 24, 2015