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Luke 1:67-79 (NIV)
67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— 72 to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76 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, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
This is Zechariah’s Song. Zechariah was a priest and the father of John the Baptist. He and his wife, Elizabeth, were faithful followers of God. While serving at the temple, Zechariah was visited by an angel telling him that he and Elizabeth would have a child, they should name him John, and he would “make ready for the Lord a people prepared”. (Luke 1.17b) At John’s circumcision on the eighth day after his birth, Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit and God speaks these words. To a people eagerly awaiting the Messiah, God finally breaks in and sends John. As God presents John as the prophet that will prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry, God reminds his people that he is keeping his word spoken through the prophets; God is keeping the covenant made with the people Israel; he is honoring the promises made to Abraham. God traces his faithfulness through all of history to this one moment and points his people to the Christ Child. As we prepare for worship this weekend, let us also celebrate God’s faithfulness to his people.