The Song of an Old Man

In our advent candle liturgy on Sunday we were focussing on peace, and given the lack of peace in this province over the past week thanks to the flags fracas in Belfast City Council, that was a timely emphasis. It also prompted me to move from the set readings in the lectionary, to Micah 4: 1-5 and Zechariah's song on the birth of his son John... He prophecied that his son would lead God's people into the path of peace - we need a John today in leadership in this province... someone who will lead us in a direction which doesn't see violence as a legitimate way to get our own way, and who will lead us towards real peace, not simply an absence of violence, or rather a ghettoising of the violence in areas that 90% of Northern Ireland would never dream of going...

Anyway, given that I offered a responsive version of Mary's song last week, here is one based loosely on Zechariah's song:

Sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come and has bought his people out of slavery.
He has created a place of sanctuary and safety for us
Through the household of his servant David.
Just as he promised in the preaching of his holy prophets long ago
He offers rescue from our enemies and protection from the hands of those who hate us.
In his mercy he keeps his side of the holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham: 
that he would snatch us from the grasp of our enemies,
enabling us to serve him fearlessly forever
to be made holy
and be set in a right relationship with the Lord our God.
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 open the eyes of the people to the possibility of salvation
to offer them the forgiveness of their sins through the heartfelt mercy of our God.
The dawn of God’s grace will rise upon us
 to shine light on those living in the land of darkness
To show us how to escape the shadow of death,
And to guide us, step by step, along the path of peace.
Luke 1:68-79



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