Now all that remains is the final section of Zechariah’s song:
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which 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.
The first four words in this section make it clear that Zechariah, up until this point, has not been talking (or singing) about his son, John. Next, he indicates John’s job description: go on before the Lord to prepare the way.
Before the King arrives the place must be prepared. It is John’s responsibility to ensure that all are ready to hear the good news of salvation, mercy and rescue that was mentioned in yesterday’s post.
Zechariah here gets even more poetic, describing the birth of Christ as the rising of the sun, that shines on the darkness of death. He reveals that a new day will begin with the birth of Christ.
In New Age philosophy, people speak of the Age of Aquarius: a new age in which the planets align and all is well. Zechariah speaks of a new age also, but it has nothing to do with the Age of Aquarius.
Yet, it did coincide with an astrological event, with the star that appeared in the sky. It was this star that the Magi followed to find the Christ child. A little bit of research suggests that in historical times the word ‘star’ could have been used to refer to anything in the heavens.
Regardless of whether the star was actually a star, or planets aligning, it was God who put it in the sky at that time. And it was God who allowed for an old and barren Elizabeth to become pregnant and give birth to a son who would prepare the way for Christ.
A ‘star’ in the sky. A very unlikely pregnancy to prepare the way. All these things are incredible within themselves, but they are not where our focus should rest.
They are all pointing to the rising sun come from heaven.
The Lord has already come. We celebrate being in that new day every Christmas.
Yours in the new age,