“Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:67-80
By Mark Goode
Humanity tells us that our time has come and gone. God tells us He is ready to begin. Our time belongs to God for whom no amount of waiting is too great, no biological clock too constricting, no challenge insurmountable. Zechariah knew God’s promises and never gave up. Zechariah waited. In the midst of long waits, of nervous anticipation, of wild expectation, Zechariah’s song reminds us of God’s mercy, of unquestionable salvation, of the coming of the Lord. We have hope, for through waiting we are prepared, our place in the world is given context, and the scene is set for us as His children.
In our house, the Christmas season is about anticipation, mercy, faith, hope, and love. We eagerly await the faces of joy and surprise as gifts are opened Christmas morning. We are grateful that painful conflicts are mercifully cast aside as we turn our focus to Jesus, to family. Christmas brings love to a world full of hate, renewing our faith, giving us hope.
This season never seems to get here fast enough. Even in life – as workers, as mothers and fathers, as spouses – we are rarely on the time-line we want. We are on the time-line we need. Zechariah’s song, sung after months of silence, of excruciating anticipation, reminds us that God’s timing is perfect, that we are being prepared, placed in context, and given the time to become strong in spirit. The military has a saying, “hurry up and wait.” With these things in mind, we can wait graciously. So we will wait, content where we are, eager for where we are going, and confident in the timing of God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray: Father, thank you for making us wait. Thank you for helping us prepare for our role, for giving us an understanding of how we fit in to your kingdom. Thank you for your Son, who we celebrate this Christmas season. Amen.By believing in God’s promises to sustain us, to prepare a way for us, we maintain our faith.