Luke 1:67-75 – Zechariah foretells God saving his people

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.

Ponder - Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

When Zechariah spoke of being “saved from our enemies,” those listening to him would have thought of only one thing: Rome. The Roman occupation of Israel had been oppressing Israel for the best part of seventy years and was greatly resented and feared. Zechariah’s words offered hope that this enemy will be overthrown, that Israel will be freed, and perhaps most importantly, that God was still keeping his promise to love and care for his people. God is still keeping that promise to us today, even though our enemies do not take the form of an external military power. Throughout our world today, we are challenged by unhealthy behaviours, damaging thoughts and feelings, and perhaps most insidious of all, our limiting beliefs. God is here to rescue us from all of these, if we only trust in his promise to us – to love and care for us, as children of God.

Redeeming God, rescue us. Save us from the temptations of the world around us that dazzle but do not deliver. Save us from the damaging thoughts we let loose in our minds, that create walls, that foster resentment, or that spread unworthiness; anything that limits how we love each other or appreciate Your love for us. Save us from ourselves. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2019.

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