Draw Near to Truth
One Crying Out by Lauren Wright Pittman
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
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.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
From the Artist
On the day before Christmas Eve almost ten years ago, my best friend died after a fiercely-fought battle with cancer. Later that day my friends came over for our annual gift exchange and we couldn’t leave one another; we couldn’t seem to go to sleep either. We stayed up all night telling stories about our friend and decided we would drive to an overlook to watch the sunrise. I remember sitting there in the cold, wrapped up in a blanket, huddled with my friends as the wind blew and spattered the tears that could not stop pouring out of my eyes. I desperately needed dawn to break because I was certainly sitting in what felt like the shadow of death
In this text we find Zechariah having his own kind of mountaintop experience in response to the birth of his son, John the Baptist. Zechariah praises God for what he has done for Israel and prophesies about the person his son will be—“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High.” When we so directly see God’s movement in the world it empowers us to boldly claim what God will do in the future.
As the sun hit my face that morning, I felt embraced by the light. Though everything was in shambles in that moment, I felt a sense of peace—not a fleeting peace, but one that carried me in my grief and continues to carry me now. At the end of the night, the sun will come up. The darkness will be shattered by the dawn breaking.
Draw Near to God in Prayer
Breathe deeply as you gaze upon the image on the left. What story do you imagine for the figure? What deeper meaning comes into view? Get quiet and still, offering a silent or spoken prayer to God.
Lisle Gwynn Garrity | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org