Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang this canticle:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has come and redeemed his people.
In the house of David his servant,
he has raised up for us a victorious Savior;
as he promised through his prophets of old,
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of our foes.
He has shown mercy to our fathers;
and remembered his holy Covenant,
the oath he swore to Abraham, our father,
to deliver us from the enemy,
that we might serve him fearlessly,
as a holy and righteous people,
all the days of our lives.
And you, my child,
shall be called Prophet of the Most High,
for you shall go before the Lord,
to prepare the way for him,
and to enable his people to know of their salvation,
when he comes to forgive their sins.
This is the work of the mercy of our God,
who comes from on high, as a rising sun,
shining on those who live in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
and guiding our feet into the way of peace.”
Christmas is a season of songs. Carols permeate the air. No surprise there for many of those biblical characters associated with the season burst into songs of praise and thanksgiving. We have Mary, Zechariah, Simeon and the angelic hosts on that first Christmas night. Songs of praise and thanksgiving is a fitting reception to the newborn king. Heaven and earth are united in joyful praise in this one singular moment in time when divinity dwelt between two realms. We have no reason to be annoyed with Christmas carolers who pop up everywhere. They are in line with the spirit of this beautiful time.
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