Zechariah’s Song (Luke 1:67-79)
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
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 ancestors
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.”
This beautiful song of worship was sung by Zechariah, a priest of God from the priestly line of Aaron (the brother of Moses), only eight days after the birth of his only son. This was a much-anticipated and desired child of a very old couple who would never have been able to conceive if not for the miracle of a faithful God. (You can read all about Zechariah and Elizabeth’s story in Luke 1). As I read his beautiful song, I imagine Zechariah holding his newborn son and, in an overwhelming moment of thankfulness, remembering the other promise that God had made – the promise to rescue and redeem His people – the promise to send a Savior. He knows that the Savior is almost there. His anticipation turns to thankfulness and his heart overflows in worship.
Zechariah’s song is a celebration of the faithful love of a Father for His children. A Father who redeems and rescues. A Father who remembers and fulfills His promises. During this season of Advent, when we celebrate the coming of Christ, it’s important to remember that the Son of God came to seek and save those who were lost because of the great love of the Father. Love came first. And it is love that mattered most. Love was born in a stable to teenaged parents. Love healed the sick and blind and Love cast out demons. Love walked the road to Calvary and Love laid down His life in fulfillment of a promise made many years before. Love came first and Love never stopped pursuing.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” - Lamentations 3:22-23
God’s love is still pursuing us. Every morning that the sun rises, so does the compassion of an ever faithful God. There isn't a story or a life He can't redeem. There isn't a place you can go where His love cannot reach. There isn't a moment of your life when you are not fully loved and accepted by the Father. God's love is able to redeem the hardest of hearts and mend the broken pieces of our lives that no one else will ever even see. When we begin to understand the love that God has for us; when we start to grasp this never-stopping, redeeming love; our hearts, just like Zechariah’s, should overflow in thankfulness and worship.