Friday, September 7, 2012

Devotion for today: Canticle of Zechariah

Today we look at the Canticle of Zechariah, prayed every day in the Liturgy of the hours during Morning Prayer.


Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has come to His people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
Born of the house of His servant David.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old
That He would save us from our enemies,
From the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
And to remember His holy Covenant.
This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
To set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship Him without fear,
Holy and righteous in His sight
All the days of our life.
You, my child shall be called
The prophet of the Most High,
For you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our Lord
The dawn from on high shall 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.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Zechariah learned his lesson in trusting God the hard way; he lost his power of speech because he did not believe the angel when he told him that Elizabeth would bear a son in her old age. We see here from this canticle that Zechariah is clearly a new man, a man who truly believes with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. The funny thing is that Zechariah was a priest, so he probably knew the scriptures inside and out, and it wasn't that he didn't have faith, it was just that he didn't believe with his whole heart. He was probably like many people and just going through the motions of life, and then when something miraculous appears before him, his heart is too hardened to even be moved by God's great gift.
…I pray that we each learn a lesson from Zechariah and instead of having a closed heart to the Lord, we can open ourselves and to receive Jesus into our hearts and into our entire lives.
May the Holy Spirit fill each of us so that we too might glorify God and spread praise of Him throughout this world just as Zechariah did.

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