May 08, 2016

A New Song for an Old Man

Luke 1:67-80

Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.”

—  Luke 1:67-68

For nine months, Zechariah the priest was under verbal house arrest. He could not utter a word to his friends, neighbors, or relatives. But later, after his son was born and he could speak again, Zechariah could not hold back an eruption of the gospel. The Holy Spirit set his heart on fire. A new song announced the new work of God—redeeming, remembering, and releasing the light of his salvation into a dark world. 

As a priest, Zechariah had likely been on the lookout for the redemptive promises of God to be fulfilled. Now, with the birth of his son, he burst forth with God’s promises to share with everyone. And he did it by singing a new song.
Zechariah knew the Old Testament Scriptures; he knew redemption was coming. It was the amazing old story that God still had a purpose for his people Israel.

Redemption usually comes when we have no more tricks up our sleeves or plan B’s to pull out of our hats. Redemption is out of our control. God never begins with us. He is always ahead of us. Redemption is the miracle of God’s redeeming power to make the dream of forgiveness, mercy, and second chances possible for everyone. That’s why Zechariah sings, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.”

Dear Father, thank you for redeeming the broken places in my life for your glory. Help me to sing a new song of grace today. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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