“He has dealt mercifully with our fathers and remembered His holy covenant” (Luke 1:72).
What was it like just before Jesus came to the earth?
Part of the answer comes from the song of Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. You can read the whole song in Luke 1:67-79. Some of it sounds strange to our ears. But that’s part of the great value of this passage. Zechariah’s song reveals the deep faith of the Jewish people on the eve of Messiah’s birth. For hundreds of years the people of God had been waiting for Messiah to come. Now at last he is almost here.
All of that is on Zechariah’s heart and is comprehended in this one single truth: At long last God has visited his people! That means God has kept his promise.
It’s hard for us to grasp the magnitude of this thought. Nobody appeared more forgotten than the Jews chafing under Roman rule. Reduced to an obscure province in the Roman Empire, they were rejected, overlooked, and despised. Nearly 1,000 years had passed since the glorious days of King David. Over 400 years had passed since their last prophet—a man named Malachi. As Zechariah looks down at his infant son, he knows the crucial moment of world history has arrived. In his arms he holds the baby who will grow up to prepare the way of the Lord. That could only mean one thing:
The Messiah is on the way!
The long wait is over!
God has remembered his promise!
He has visited his people!
Christmas is only one week away. As the commercials keep telling us, there are only 7 shopping days left until Christmas Day. But think about what else that means. There are also …
7 praising days until Christmas
7 singing days until Christmas
7 worshiping days until Christmas
How are you going to spend the 7 days that are left for you before Christmas finally arrives?
Good news, my friend. Jesus is here at last! Will you drop everything and welcome him into your heart? Or are you too busy this year to be bothered with him?
Lord Jesus, you remembered me even when I had forgotten you. You came for me when I was running away. Thank you for turning me from an enemy into a friend by your grace. Amen.
Musical bonus: Today’s carol was written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865. It became an instant classic. Let’s listen as Fernando Ortega sings What Child is This.