Benedictus – Luke 1: 68-79
ADVENT MESSAGE – Benedictus Reflection
The theme for the 2nd week of Advent is ‘Peace’, a reminder that God’s peace is eternal and is grounded in His word, a peace that is to be found in the promise of Messiah Jesus Christ, and we must trust God to experience real peace no matter the circumstance.
In the gospel, according to Luke chapter 1, verses, 68-79 is often referred to in the Latin phrase ‘Benedictus Dominus Deus‘ (which means ‘Blessed be the Lord God). It is a discourse of praise and thanksgiving offered to God by a Jewish priest named Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.
I believe this text is a reminder to us of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promise to His people. I also believe it relates the importance of the Holy Spirit in guiding our understanding to live in God’s peace in any situation, and our mission in preparing others to walk in the way of peace for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
With that said, allow me to share 2 thoughts from the passage I believe can help to keep us grounded in this peace of Christ, as we journey on in this the Church’s Advent season amidst all the different challenges in our context and they are;
- Praise God for His benevolence towards us; and
- Be forerunners of the second Advent of Christ
Firstly, Christians are called to praise God for His benevolence towards us, in other words, we must express gratitude to God for His kindness towards us, or simply put, we must glorify God for his mercy and grace. Our world is filled with distress, unrest, violence, and all sorts of discord, but we must never fail to live in the peace of Christ Jesus.
This peace is not like the world’s peace, but one that comes from above to those who follow God’s plan and we must be thankful to God.
Zechariah the prophet was made mute for doubting a message from God, but he praised God when his speech was restored for His favour toward him, and for fulfilling His covenant promise in the coming Messiah, who would bring peace to all humanity. A peace that endures in the promise of Jesus who said,” My peace I leave with you”, a redemptive sacrifice that should cause us to glorify God.
May our praise forever be “Benedictus Dominus Deus” for God’s favour towards us in sending Christ Jesus for the redemption of our sins and that we abide in the peace Christ left us. to overcome the trials of the world.
Secondly, we are called to be forerunners for the second Advent of Christ, that is to say, we are called and sent to evangelize the good news of the kingdom of God and help to prepare others for the Second Advent of Christ which leads to everlasting peace.
Zechariah looked beyond himself and the favour God bestowed upon him and his wife Elizabeth, in the gift of a son and gave instruction that he should be a forerunner of the first advent of Christ.
Listen to Zechariah in verses 76-77 which read, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins”.
Zechariah’s son John was faithful in this task and he ran his race in being a harbinger for the true Light which is Jesus Christ. We too are called and sent to be forerunners for His second coming in our context, so others might share in peace to found in Christ Jesus.
The great commission of Jesus Christ in the gospel of Matthew 28: 18 – 20 is the mission for Christians in preparing the way for the Lord. and in helping others to be ready for His second coming which leads to everlasting peace.
A peace that no pandemic or crisis should cause us to stumble if we abide in Christ. Therefore, let us hold fast to the peace we have in Christ Jesus and serve faithfully as forerunners for His second advent.
Finally, as we journey on in this the Church’s Advent season, let us reflect on our thankfulness and stewardship. And in so doing, let us praise God for His benevolence towards us and serve as faithful forerunners for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, which leads to everlasting peace in glory for the faithful.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
ADVENT 2 COLLECT
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Message Contributed by Rev. Courtney Carridice
Psalm & Collect read by Tracy Ann Mahoney of Crofts Hill All Saints Anglican -Clarendon