December 19 – “…The rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Read: Luke 1:67-79

Zechariah and Mary praised the Lord in similar ways. The same truths emerge in their songs of praise: God’s people need redemption and deliverance; God scatters the proud, turns away the rich, and rescues us “from the hand of all who hate us;” God enables us to serve Him without fear and God gives His people a future secured by His grace and mercy. Zechariah and Mary have the wisdom to see that all of this is God’s doing and not man’s achievement. They provide instructive commentary on our tendency to generate enthusiasm and manufacture “results.”

For Zechariah and Mary the “doing” is done by God. God’s grace goes before our work; defining, shaping and sanctifying our service. Our first task is always worship and praise; recognizing the great work of salvation God is doing. He goes before us, involving us in His work.

Prayer: Father, we are filled with praise for all You have done. Give us eyes to see Your grace and behold Your salvation. Forgive us for our self-effort and wrong-headed activism. Give us a heart that truly sings Your praises. Guide our feet into the path of peace. Amen.

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