Summary: In this message we will unpack Zechariah's song of thanksgiving. A song that he sang under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit telling us what Christmas is all about.
YES – the king is among us…
I love that song and I love the truth that it proclaims.
A truth that is at the center of Christmas Season.
NOW – for the month of December we are in this series of conversations that we are calling, ‘cTunes,’
Because as we saw last week songs have been a part of Christmas from the very beginning.
YEAH – songs and Christmas just seem to go hand in hand…
I MEAN – can you think of another holiday that has so many songs and so much music that dominates the air waves for such a long period of time?
NOW – this morning we are going to look at another song, by guy who did not write his first song until very late in life…
BUT BEFORE – we go there, I thought we would listen to a medley of popular Christmas songs
AGAIN – songs and Christmas just seemed to go together… and I have no doubt that there will be more on the way…
BUT – to be honest I am starting to become partial to these original Christmas tunes…
LIKE – Mary’s song of praise from last week…
A – cTune that magnifies the Lord proclaiming the good news of…
• God’s Care – B/S God takes takes notice of, pays attention to who you… God is mindful of you.
• God’s Might - Nothing is impossible for Him
• God’s Mercy - He delights in showing us mercy
• God’s Way - He champions the cause of the weak and humble.
• God’s Promises - when it comes to His promises, he keeps them.
NOW TODAY – as we look at yet another original Christmas tune… (this one also is found in Luke 1)
WE WILL - approach our conversation the same way we did last week…
FIRST – a little back story on the writer and then we will unpack the song.
NOW BEFORE – we begin unpacking Luke 1:5-25 we need to look at some words from the prophet Malachi… (because Zechariah’s back story actually begins over 400 years before he was born)
YEAH – I know a lot of you woke up this morning and were wanting to hear a word from Malachi… well hear it is I didn’t want to disappoint you.
UNDERSTAND – our God is a sovereign God. He rules over all times, nations, languages, cultures, races, classes, and genders of people. He is working out everything according to his plan.
What He says will happen has and will always happen. And throughout Scripture we see God predicting and declaring the future in advance through His prophets.
AND - one of those occasions is in the last book of the Old Testament, the Book of Malachi chapters three and four.
AND LISTEN - this word from God in Malachi will be ‘the final word’ that God will speak to His people until we pick up the story in Luke chapter one (400 years later).
SO… - in Malachi 3:1, we see the beginning of Zechariah’s backstory as the sovereign God of the universe says,
Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.
AGAIN - God is speaking, saying, “I am coming, but before I come into human history a messenger, a preacher, a prophet will come. And he will proclaim and announce my coming.
Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
– Malachi 3:1,2
NOW THIS - is an Old Testament prophecy about Zech’s son John the Baptist who was coming as the messenger to prepare the way for the coming of Christ, the Messiah.
AND ONCE – John has prepared the way (which he did)…
THEN - Jesus would appear at the Temple.
AND MALACHI – ends his book by saying the following about John the Baptist…
“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers…. – Malachi 4:5,6
IN OTHER WORDS – this prophet (John the Baptist) will bring about a great revival among God’s people…
AND THEN - there are 400 years of silence.
No book of the Bible is written, no prophet speaks.
MANY - begin to wonder if God’s provision has left the nation forever. AND - one generation to the next becomes a little more stiff necked, hard hearted, and cold. People aren’t walking with God as they should.
YES – there is a remnant, a few who are seriously devoted to the Lord. But, it’s still 400 silent years.