And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
through the tender mercy of our God,
when the day shall dawn upon us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Zechariah’s song, to his newborn son John.
What joy must have welled up in his heart,
Knowing that the light of life was about to shine,
The hope which his people had so long awaited.
In God’s tender mercy, He let Zechariah rest in this knowledge,
and in the peace and joy that it brought to his heart.
Maybe not fully realizing what a costly affair this would be,
This thing that God was about to do.
In return for the truth that he was to proclaim, John would lose his life.
The Messiah, just as Scripture had foretold, would be cut off,
Seemingly having accomplished nothing,
Falling to the ground like a kernel of wheat.
But the Father had counted the cost.
He had weighed it carefully,
And in His deep love chose to pay the price.
For the joy set before Him,
Knowing the incomparable value of what would ultimately be accomplished, He chose to pay the price.
The seed would grow and flourish.
Those who had walked with Jesus, knowing first hand
the deep significance of His life and who He really was,
would endure every persecution to pass on this knowledge,
many of them also giving their lives – gladly giving their lives,
knowing not just with their mind but with their whole being the deep value and significance of the truth they’d been given.
In your tender mercy Lord,
Your light has come to dwell among us, and within us.
Though the darkness is offended by this,
And will do anything in its power to extinguish this light,
In your strength Lord, we stand.
You’ve given us the certain hope that in the fullness of time,
the earth will indeed receive you as King of kings,
and You will end our night.
Until that day Lord, we stand.