In this first week of Advent, Bishop Ward shares the song of Zechariah from Luke 1 which speaks of the light from heaven breaking through our darkness and bringing peace.
See this and other Advent videos, devotions and resources on our Advent 2015 page.
May the peace of Christ be with you in this holy season of Advent.
Hear these words from Luke 1, from the song of Zechariah – the father of John the Baptist – the last lines in his song, “Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death and to guide us on the path of peace.”
Zechariah sings of a light which breaks into our world. How much we need to remember this song of Zechariah in this holy season of Advent as we await the coming of the Prince of Peace. A week after the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, a news reporter interviewed a small French child and his father. The child expressed his fear and asked his father if he thought they were safe in Paris. His father turned to the flowers and the candles which were banked in memory of the victims of the attack and he pointed his son to the flowers and to the candles and said, “Look at these. Look at these and they’ll make you stronger.” The little boy then asked, “But will they make us safe?”
The question has resonated in my spirit since my hearing of it and the text from Zechariah points me to the source of our safety, our place with God’s surrounding love. Zechariah sings that the dawn from heaven will break in upon us, shattering the darkness, and guiding us into the way of peace. The peace which Jesus brings is not the peace of increased armed might. It’s not the peace that comes from locking ourselves behind closed doors. It’s not the peace that comes from our being unwilling to extend welcome into our communities to those who have been victims of the same terrorism in Syria. Rather, the peace of Christ comes as we place our identity in God who loves, in God who saves, in God who extends grace.
God is indeed our security in this life and in the life to come. As we light a candle before this beautiful piece of art, created in Haiti, we give thanks for the light of Christ shining in every darkness. This beautiful art reminds us of our close connection to Haiti and of the devastation there in recent years, yet we know with Zechariah that God’s light is breaking in upon us and we give thanks.
May the light of Christ lead you in this holy season to a new embracing of the one who comes to bring peace to every heart.