Tuesday, December 18, 2012

singing praise in the dark

Good afternoon friends,
This poem/song of praise is Zechariah's Spirit-inspired response to the birth of his son, John. Not only does he look ahead to his son's ministry as a prophet preparing the way for the Lord Jesus, he also sees Jesus' role of bringing God's kingdom in a new way. It's a beautiful passage and may help us see Jesus and John in a new way.

At the same time, someone mentioned on Sunday that he might need a redefinition of God's "tender mercies" in light of the Newtown, CT shooting on Friday. There are times we wish God would just come down and fix our troubled world; then there are other times (if we're honest with ourselves) that we mostly want God to leave us alone to do what we want. We trust that someday God will make his rule very obvious and will bring the peaceful kingdom we long for. Most of me wishes that would happen soon, and part of me is afraid of what Jesus will say about how I have used my time, resources and opportunities. In all that, and in judging the world at the end, I trust God to be tender and merciful. I know that the one who rules and will judge knows our suffering not only from watching the world, but especially in Christ's journey to the cross.

God bless,

Luke 1:67-80
67Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: 68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. 69He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, 70as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 71that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.

72Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, 73the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us 74that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. 78By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, 79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 80The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.

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