An Advent Journey: Stop, Look, Listen – Day 8, Second Sunday

“Then Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he came and set his people free.
He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,
and in the very house of David his servant,
just as he promised long ago
through the preaching of his holy prophets;
Deliverance from our enemies
and every hateful hand;
Mercy to our fathers,
as he remembers to do what he said he’d do,
What he swore to our father Abraham —
a clean rescue from the enemy camp,
So we can worship him without  a care in the world,
made holy before him as long as we live.

And you, my child, ‘Prophet of the Highest,’
will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
Present the offer of salvation to  his people,
the forgiveness of their sins.
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.”
Luke 1:68-79, NLT

Whenever I turn the corner toward home, every tense muscle in my back and neck starts to unkink. I am heading down the ‘path of peace,’ heading for where I belong. 

Home is a powerful place, isn’t it? And more often than not, that place has a whole lot to do with the people who are in it. 

I think that truth is what’s at the heart of Zechariah’s beautiful song in the first chapter of Luke. The old man is singing in the Spirit, he’s filled with the joy of dreams fulfilled, promises kept, and his thoughts turn toward home.

For Zechariah, home is where God is. He recounts a little history, remembering David and Abraham, and he makes a profound connection between freedom, worship and holiness in the first stanza. I think I had heard, read and even taught the Exodus story about a dozen times before I caught onto the fact that the purpose of that mass movement of people was freedom to worship. And the purpose of all those wandering  years? To re-build holiness into the hearts of God’s people.

And of course that holiness was not terribly long-lived, was it? That’s one of the reasons for the Incarnation — Jesus came to show us holiness, to live it in our midst and to empower us to live it, too. And Zechariah’s baby boy was going to point the way. ‘One foot at a time, down the path of peace.’

Lord Jesus Christ, help me to put my feet right in line with yours. Help me to choose peace — each day, each hour, each minute. Because of you, I can live a holy life, a whole life. Thank you for this truest gift of the season — this and every season of the year, every season of life itself.

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  1. Home is where God is – yes! Remembering that truth helps when the panic rises over too many demands made too loudly by too many small people. It’s not always going to be like this – I’m on my way home! This, right here? This is home, and these small people are home, too. But travelling gets wearisome after a while, and that’s really what we’re doing – traveling home.

  2. Thanks, Donna, for coming by and commenting. Always happy to see you here. And yes, right where you are RIGHT NOW – that is home — home on the way to Home.