This text is based on the Song of Zechariah, also known by the first word in the Latin text, the Benedictus. This canticle is sung daily at Morning Prayer in many Christian traditions. Stanza 1 speaks of the hope Zechariah has in the coming Messiah; stanza 2 speaks of God’s covenant faithfulness; and in stanza 3 Zechariah addresses his newborn son, John, the one promised to “prepare the way” for the coming of the Messiah. Zechariah no doubt had time to prepare this text during this time of silence before his son was born.
Sing! A New Creation
The words of Zechariah which form this song express the long hope of Israel that God would be faithful to his promises and provide new hope through David’s seed. The Confessions recall this promise-keeping God as the heart of our Advent hope. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 5 speaks of God “keeping his promise” and paragraph 23 speaks of God “remembering the promise to reconcile” as the basis for sending his Son. Similarly Belgic Confession, Article 18 says that God “fulfilled the promise made to the early fathers and mothers...” Further, the generations are to be the “fruit of the loins of David.”