In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
- The Benedictus
The Benedictus which we sing or say daily at Morning Prayer always resonates with me. Zechariah’s song of thanksgiving for the birth of his son John the Baptist is such an outpouring of love. First, Zechariah praises God for deliverance of Israel, and for the covenants God has made, in the past and currently in the coming of John and soon, Jesus. The second half of the Benedictus is addressed to John as the prophet and forerunner of Jesus, the Jesus who will bring peace to God’s people.
God’s unconditional love for us is so great that in the incarnation God takes on human flesh in Jesus. Our redemption and freedom are secured by this. Our sins are forgiven. The astonishing fact is that we can do for others what Jesus has done for us. Ronald Rohlheiser says ‘to be touched, loved, and forgiven by a member of the body of believers is to be touched, loved, and forgiven by Christ. The incredible power and mercy that came into our world in Jesus is still with us, if we choose to activate it.’
We are called to be beacons of light in the darkness of this world, not just at Christmas but throughout the year. Blessed be God who helps us to do this!
– Doreen Davidson