Bible Studies for Life Lesson for December 20- Go- Tell It on the Mountain
December 2 2009 by John Pond, Director of Missions, West Chowan Baptist Association

Focal Passage: Luke 1:67-79

My wife, Sharon, describes in her book, Getting to the Other Side the first Christmas we spent in Rwanda.

In a chapter entitled “Drums” she writes: “They begin at the stroke of midnight, when Christmas Eve becomes Christmas Day.

“They go on in the darkness and continue as the world gets light.

“They sound all of Christmas Day until the stroke of midnight Christmas night.”

That first Christmas in Butare, Rwanda, I thought that the sound of the drums beginning in the darkness of midnight was one of the most beautiful sounds I had ever heard in my life.

The drumming was the Rwandan’s way of announcing to the villages on the hills the birth of Jesus Christ.

She later tells how for the Rwandan people it was a great honor to be allowed to beat the drums.

In the gospels we read of numerous individuals who were allowed a place in the birth narrative of Jesus.

In Luke’s account we are given the added pleasure of hearing the songs of praise that were sung on that first Christmas morning.

One of those pieces has traditionally been called “Benedictus (or Blessed),” the song of Zechariah, father to John the Baptizer.

Though his part in the account seems to be marginal to Jesus’ birth, it is an important part.

Like the drummers of Rwanda he has been given the privilege of drawing everyone’s attention toward “the Dayspring, or Dawn” which will break upon us from on high (1:78).

His own son, John, as prophet of the Most High, will “go before the Lord to prepare his ways” (1:76).

Zechariah praises the Lord for responding to the desperate cries of His people.

He prophesies, “For he has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke … from long ago” (1:69-70).

This horn, used by animals to attack and defend, symbolizes the power and protection of Messiah.

He praises God for his own newborn son who would one day point all Israel to God’s Messiah.

He praises God for the hope and peace that will come to a world in crisis, anxious and fearful, through His tender mercy, giving light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

And so, to the amazement of those around him, the former voiceless Zechariah, now filled with the Holy Spirit, beats (drums!) the air with impassioned voice, testifying of this miraculous event that would transform the world — “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!”
12/2/2009 6:37:00 AM by John Pond, Director of Missions, West Chowan Baptist Association | with 0 comments

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