As we celebrate the birth of Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, we see Zechariah’s mouth open and his tongue free after he wrote “John” on a tablet when asked what name to give his new born son. Immediately after Zechariah’s mouth was open, he praised the Lord, blessing and giving thanks to God.
Just as Zechariah, we too should praise God with blessings and thanksgivings when we awake in the morning before anything else can exit our mouths. Remember Zechariah’s mouth was sealed when he questioned God’s messenger, the Angel Gabriel, who proclaimed the good news of Elizabeth’s birth of John the Baptist. So before negative thoughts of that big math test that awaits or the commute in the snow enter our minds, we should stop and contemplate Psalm 118:24: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”
Further in the Gospel of Luke, Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit and begins to prophesize about the Lord’s promise of deliverance to the Jewish people.
“Thus He has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered His holy covenant, the oath that He swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all of our days.” Luke 1:72-76.
“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:78-79.
Like the people of God in the Old Testament, and through our faith, we too share with the Jewish people the legacy of being called, the heirs of God’s promise of salvation. We believe that this promise was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus. God the Father promises to shine a light on our path to guide us in peace.
So when you are in a place of darkness, why be anxious? God promises to watch over us and to grant mercy and grace in the time of need.