Advent Reading for December 2, 2021
by Libby Tyner Bispham

Luke 1: 68  
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. 

Thus begins The Benedictus – Zechariah’s hymn of praise and joy celebrating the birth of his son, John the Baptist.  The poetic words chronicled in Luke are words spoken through the power of the Holy Spirit working in Zechariah.  Zechariah experienced a reawakening and restoration, both figuratively and literally, of his faith and voice.   He’s joyfully announcing the coming of our Redeemer – coming with love to forgive our sins, set us free and restore our relationship with the divine. By “looking” at us, our connection to the Lord God is established with love and grace. The opening blessing from the song offers us an opportunity to share our praise and glory to the Lord of Hosts and begins our Song of Thanksgiving with the promise of redemption and salvation offered to all of us.  This is, indeed, a time of hope.  Let us reawaken our lives as we prepare to listen for and welcome the Christ child. As the nights grow longer, let us take this wonderful opportunity to stop, look up and really seek the wonderous star heralding the light of the world. O come, o come Emmanuel and with your coming, let us rejoice.

Reflective Questions: In this time of expectant waiting and joyful preparation, how are we creating a space for the voice of the Holy Spirit? Are we clearing a place and making room for God to enter our hearts and lives? Are we listening and preparing with much hopeful anticipation for Christ’s arrival? What hymn of joy are we singing?

Prayer: Gracious God, renew our hearts and minds so that we eagerly await the celebration of the extraordinary gift of Jesus. Throughout this Season of Advent, use your light to guide us on this journey, use our ears to listen for you, let us feel your presence and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us and work in us in all things. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.