Merry Christmas!

Dusk at Paraguay River, Paraguay, photo by Alfredo Zucotti

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,

because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:68-79, ESV)

Among the Christmas texts, the Song of Zechariah is a gem that is rarely explored for all its worth and yet, there are incredible riches in it. I especially like the emphasis on redemption, deliverance from darkness, and God’s mercy. The image of the sunrise (with obvious echoes of Malachi 4:2) is especially fit for our Christmas. We need the light of the Sun of Righteousness!

As you might already guess, we live a Christmastime that is very different from the usual practices of the Northern Hemisphere. Here Christmas happens at the beginning of summer, among scorching hot days full of sun, light, and lush garden colors. That was another reason for choosing this text. It almost looks like it was written for our Christmas.

We spent a nice Christmas Eve with my in-laws, and we went to my parents for the Christmas Day noon dinner. On New Year, the arrangement was reversed. All in all, the Lord blessed us with a happy, quiet time of reflection among our loved ones, and we are thankful. Thankful for the salvation brought by the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, thankful for countless blessings, and your fellowship among them.

Dear reader, may you have a blessed Christmas time, and a truly happy New Year.

(Photo: Dusk at River Paraguay. Photo by kind permission of Paraguayan photographer Alfredo Zucotti)

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