This is the last day of Advent. When evening falls we will celebrate Christmas, and we will worship God as the incarnate savior of the world. This morning, however, we read the great canticle of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. The canticle is a powerful recitation of how God had kept his promises throughout the history of the people of Israel up to the time of the birth of John. Soon, however, Zechariah and the rest of the world would learn of how much more God is willing to do because of his great love for us.
As we wait for the celebration of tonight and tomorrow, let us join with Zechariah in remembering that God has always been faithful.
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”