“‘Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace'” (Luke 1:78-79, NLT).

Sunrise on Phu Chi Fa

When an angel told Zechariah his wife Elizabeth was to have a baby, he didn’t believe it, as they were both older and had never had children. It seemed too good to be true. Because he doubted, he wouldn’t be able to speak until the baby was born. It must have been an interesting nine months at their house, with a silent, humbled husband and an excited mother-to-be, probably talking nonstop about this amazing turn of events.

Immediately after the birth, Zechariah regained his voice and began praising God. Toward the end of his speech, he was inspired to predict the morning light from heaven would soon spread its glorious rays into the night sky. Until then, as my favorite Christmas hymn “O Holy Night” puts it, long lay the world in sin and error pining. The Son was about to come up on a dark, hopeless world and lead the way to peace, all because of God’s tender mercy.