Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love
Christmas Tree Ornament

The Light Of Peace

  1. None Of Your Relatives Has This Name
    1. How about Vladimir? I asked. You’re not Russian, she replied.
      1. Isn’t the process of naming your children interesting?
      1. Do you have family traditions in naming? Reminded of Joe Jr.
    1. Elizabeth had a similar problem. No relatives named John.
      1. Notice how many people are involved in the process of naming.
      1. Notice the weight that tradition carries at such a moment.
    1. We see an example of Elizabeth being an overlooked voice.
      1. She’s overlooked even in the naming of her own child.
      1. Instead they look to the father/husband/priest to confirm.
  2. Responding To Trials With Praise Spreads The Faith
    1. Nine months being mute and the first words Z speaks are praising God.
      1. Of all the things Zechariah could have said, he praised the LORD.
      1. The importance of pointing to the LORD in trail and triumph.
    1. Miracles of muteness/speaking & bareness/childbirth spread faith abroad
      1. The very last words of the John’s Gospel: Now Jesus did many  other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in   this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah,the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.
      1. The child we didn’t get to name & the faith it spread in the body.
    1. Maybe this whole business w/Gabriel serves to get people’s attentions?
      1. Israel has been living under religion’s yoke w/o God’s voice 400yrs
      1. Emmanuel is coming to restore life & relationship to all humanity!
  3. Zechariah, Filled With The Holy Spirit Spoke Of Peace
    1. Being a priest, we might expect Z to speak of the expected Messiah.
      1. A “mighty” Savior; a warrior king to throw off our enemies.
      1. A national / political Savior and a largely spiritual salvation
    1. God is showing mercy and keeping his promise through his people.
      1. Compares & contrasts with Mary’s prophecy/song before it.
      1. Fear & hate have no place in the coming economy of Jesus.
    1. Forgiveness & restoration is coming with the Prince of Peace.
      1. Advent is a season of anticipation & preparation pointing to Christ
      1. Just as John prepared the way for Jesus, so do all of us today also.
  4. The Dayspring Is Coming; The Light Shines In The Darkness, And The Darkness Did Not Overcome It.
    1. “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”NRSV
    1. I am fond of the NKJV in this case which says: “Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
    1. As we take our intentional pilgrimage through Advent to Christmas, we pause & consider the distance journeyed from heaven to Bethlehem and the preparations given to making a place for Christ in our midst.  Let us prepare not only ourselves to receive him in our own hearts, but let us also prepare our community for the arrival of the light that shines and cannot be overcome by the darkness; our king of kings, the very Prince of Peace – and let us be participants in peace and goodwill to all!

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