Readings: Luke 1:68-79; Malachi 3:13-18; Philippians 1:18b-26

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them…

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. Luke 1:68, 72-73 NRSV

In the reading from Luke, Zechariah speaks of God’s mercy, His promise to rescue His people from their enemies and give them the ability to serve Him without fear.  Zechariah knew that his son John would be the prophet who would remind people of this covenant and prepare the way for the One who would guide their feet in the way of peace. 

Just as in Jesus’ time, our world is wrought with violence and divisiveness.  Do we believe God’s promise to rescue us from our enemies?  Who are the prophetic voices that can guide us on the path of peace, continuing to prepare the way of the Lord in 2018/2019? Could you or I be that voice?  Absolutely!!  I believe that God calls each of us to be like Paul in his Letter to the Philipians, encouraging each other, reminding each other that our hope lies in God’s trustworthy promises not in the false promises of this world. 

We hear so much about fake news but we need reminders that the only truth lies in the Good News of Jesus.  If we preach this Good News in the ordinariness of each day we will be able to reject cynicism and rejoice as Paul did.  Columba Marmion, a Benedictine monk, wrote: “Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.“  May our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers experience that echo through us.  I’m counting on your voices to encourage me!

Offered by Ann Fowler, spiritual director, writer, seeker of the Christ Child.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

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