Advent begins on bended knee, on the knee of adoration of Jesus Christ as Messiah and Lord and Savior and King. Today’s text is from Luke 1, and this text too illuminates the nature of Advent adoration.
The posture of Advent is the posture of praising God for what God has done in Jesus Christ. Notice how Zechariah begins in v. 68 below. Zechariah, while he is clearly caught up in what God is doing for him and his wife and his son, is enraptured in what God is doing for Israel, his people. Hence, he adores…
1. Because in Jesus Christ he is ransoming or redeeming Israel.
2. Because he has raised up a “horn” of salvation in Jesus Christ. That is, God has acted in power — “horn” refers to the horn of the powerful animal and is a symbol of strength.
3. Because in Jesus Christ God has liberated Israel from its enemies.
4. Because in Jesus Christ God proves himself faithful.
5. Because in Jesus Christ God liberates Israel to worship God and to serve God in holiness and righteousness.
Christmas is about what God did in Jesus Christ.
Here are the words of Zechariah, words usually called the Benedictus … words that begin with the imminent messianic rule of Jesus and then move on to John’s role.
Luke 1:67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: 68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. 69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), 71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us- 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, 77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation hrough the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven 79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.