Elizabeth

Zechariah's Christmas Song

Zechariah's Christmas Song

There is something particularly beautiful about the righteousness that comes with age. There is a sweetness to it that can only be developed over the years.

There was once a husband and wife who loved God deeply. They had this kind of beautifully aged righteousness. Luke says that, “they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.”[i] If you thumb through the scriptures there are very few people commended as highly as this. The husband, Zechariah, had given his life in God’s service as a priest.

“But,” Luke tells us, “they had no child.” This was no small thing and certainly no personal choice. They had yearned for a child and prayed for a child. But no child had come. Any childless couple, any mother who has lost her pre-born child, knows the mark of pain, the empty place that can’t be covered up in the heart. Everyone who has walked through this loss knows the temptation to sin against God in the face of disappointment and shame.

But Zechariah and Elizabeth had walked righteously in the face of grief.

Then one day Zechariah had the incredible blessing of being chosen to enter the Holy Place in the temple to burn incense. He never could have anticipated what awaited him.

Mary's Christmas Song

Mary's Christmas Song

Isn’t Christmas great? Anyone who loves Christmas loves Christmas music. Even if Christmas isn’t your favorite holiday, you have to concede it has the best music.

God loves music. In Zephaniah 3:17, we see that God sings over us. And God’s people have always sung. Moses and Miriam sang when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea.[i] Deborah and Barak sang.[ii] And the largest book of the Bible (Psalms) is a song book, filled with the songs of the greatest King of Israel and many others. Music has always been a part of God’s people and will always be – we know that in heaven we’ll still be singing.[iii]

It’s not surprising, then, that God’s coming to earth is celebrated with singing. In this advent series, I am going to share some of the songs that accompanied the first Christmas alongside some of my favorite Christmas songs today.

The first song is perhaps the most famous song of Christmas: Mary’s song of praise. But it is a song with a wallop that is missed by many a contemporary reader misses.