Notice how Zechariah’s vision of what God is about to do on the First Advent was completely shaped by building the community of God in this world:

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.

69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us- 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

Zechariah sees God about to do a marvelous work:

* redeeming God’s people
* through the horn of salvation
* which means “salvation from our enemies” and “from the hand of all who hate us”
* which means mercy to our fathers and the Abrahamic covenant people
* which means rescue from the hand of our enemies
* so God’s people, Israel, could serve/worship in holiness and righteousness.

Good grief: everywhere it’s the rescue and redemption of Israel, God’s people. Christmas is about God’s people being liberated.

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