Advent 2018 – Day Thirteen – Walking on sunshine
Our song for today is Walking on sunshine by Katrina and the waves – as Zechariah regains his voice he overflows with a song of joyfulness.
I feel alive, I feel the love,
I feel the love that’s really real
Today’s passage is the fulfillment of the promise we read yesterday.
After Zechariah’s reaction to the announcement that he and Elizabeth are to have a child he is struck dumb.
Now that the child is presented at the temple his voice is unsealed and he speaks this wonderful song of praise.
The intention of the story is perhaps to show that God works through the normal events of life. The call to the people comes from a human voice not directly from God or his angels. When we feel we are not the one who needs to speak the Good News we can remember this passage and that God works his wonders through individuals like you and me.
The song itself consists of two sections the first restates the promise that God has made to redeem his people.
In the second part Zechariah as a father tenderly sings to his infant son John. The song speaks to the people of Israel and continues to speak to us today of our inclusion in God’s promise.
John continues to call to us to turn to God and prepare for his coming; Jesus brings light to us in the midst of the darkness; we are promised the Peace of Jesus which unites us with God and the people around us.
Thoughts on LUKE 1, 68 – 79 – Diana Holt
‘Let us praise the Lord!’ says Zechariah at the birth of his son, John, ‘for he has come to the aid of his people, and set them free’. He knows that his son is the forerunner of the long-promised Saviour, and will prepare the way for him. See the strength of his faith, as he proclaims that the Saviour will give light to those who sit in darkness, and guide their feet into the path of peace.
Now known as the Benedictus, these inspiring words have been used in public worship since the 6th Century. In the Anglican Church they are said every day as part of Morning Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. Many Advent hymns are based on the Benedictus and is it any wonder – the words come direct from Zechariah’s heart, and speak of his joy and his realisation that hundreds of years of prophesies were being fulfilled, and that the precious baby in his arms would have a key role in the drama. What an amazing revelation, and what a moment in the unfolding story of God’s plan!
And now, we are charged with continuing to learn, communicate and play our part in that story. It may be daunting at times, thrilling at others, but as we search for the Star to lead us to the stable, let us open our hearts and lift our voices to proclaim with Charles Wesley, ‘Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.’
Luke 1:68-79 New International Version – UK
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.’
Prayers and Reflection
Hymn: Singing the Faith 178 – Long ago Prophets knew
“… to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins”.
Let us pray together.
Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,
Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,
Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.
Listen for God’s voice in the quiet of your prayers.
Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.
Lord we thank you for your messengers through the ages who have spoken your Good News to the world. Amen
Lord today we have read that great song of praise of Zechariah, help us to sing your praises to the world around us that all may hear the Good News of your coming this Advent time. Amen
Lord, as we pass through this season of Advent together we know that we came into this world for a purpose. Help us to hear your word to us of the part you want us to play in your salvation story. Help us in the clamour and noise of our daily lives to find space where we can hear your voice calling to us.
Your Holy Spirit lives in our hearts and lives help us in the quiet of our hearts, to meet you, in love and adoration.
The Light of the World is coming to us again, help us to bring your light into each day of our lives, today, tomorrow and for eternity. Amen