Teach Me to Sing the Song of Zechariah
Dec 10, 2017 - Jared Jaggers
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Isabella Baumfree was born enslaved, and was introduced to God by her mother in the woods outside the farm she served. Years later, she would return to the woods to pray to God, asking if it was right that she remain enslaved. She recalled hearing the voice of God in those woods – first instructing her to leave her master’s farm and to gain her freedom; and then calling her to a new life of itinerant preaching. Isabella asked God for a new name and she was called Sojourner Truth. She went on to spend the rest of her life preaching the gospel, defending women’s rights, and denouncing slavery in the U.S.
As we continue to look at the songs of Luke chapter one, today Zechariah praises God’s faithfulness and prophecies that his son, John the Baptist, will prepare the way for Jesus and usher in God’s salvation, mercy, and light on those who sit in darkness; teaching us to walk in the way of peace.
After years of praying for a child, an angel promised Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth would bear their first child after they had reached old age. For good reasons, he doubted this message from the angel and questioned how it could be true. The story tells us that Zechariah remained mute for the entire pregnancy because of his disbelief, and when his son was born he prophesied and praised God.
Both Zechariah and Sojourner Truth went to a place where they heard from God – silence and his child’s birth for Zechariah; the solitude of the woods for Sojourner – and they encountered God in a way that reminded them of God’s past faithfulness. However, they went a step further as they experienced God’s faithfulness in their own life and envisioned God’s hope for a world of peace, justice, mercy, and salvation – a world in which God’s light reaches into the darkest places.
Sojourner Truth once said, “I will not allow my life's light to be determined by the darkness around me.” How will we shine God’s merciful light into the darkness around us this Advent?