What a moment! Literally struck speechless some nine months earlier by the angel Gabriel, Zechariah had suffered in silence as day by day he watched Elizabeth’s belly swell with the miracle of new life—an answer to prayers the aging couple had long ago abandoned. Sentenced to silence for his lack of faith in the angel’s promise, the old priest has had plenty of time to ponder what he would say when his speech returns, as the angel also promised.
Now, that moment has come. The dam bursts and words pour forth in Spirit-inspired, poetic prophecy.
I imagine the new father lifting his son heavenward as he speaks, offering a living symbol of God’s faithfulness in generations past now made evident in the present. I see him pause momentarily to lower the baby John to within inches of his own face. Looking directly into his boy’s eyes, he transitions the blessing to “you, child…” (v. 76).
Perhaps Zechariah’s gaze shifted to Elizabeth’s beaming face as he announced their child’s divinely bestowed calling to prepare the way for the long-awaited Messiah. Then, with his song’s final stanza rising in exuberant crescendo, I imagine the priest extending the child forward in a gesture to the congregation he has long served, and to all God’s people to follow.
Perhaps you, like me, have endured dark times and dark places. The good news of the Gospel is that, in God’s tender mercy, the dawn’s light shines on the horizon, bringing guidance, hope, and peace.
In what ways do you need to hear the promise of Zechariah’s song?
Help me, O God, to find my voice to sing of your light amid whatever darkness life may bring. Amen.