Advent 2018: Zechariah’s Song of Praise.

Songs of the Savior: Luke 1-2

For Advent this year we are hitting the pause button on our Ephesians series and are going to be looking at the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke.

Here Luke gives us the four original Christmas songs. But these songs are not songs about a magical snowman or a reindeer with a red nose or Christmas shoes. There are no turtle doves, golden rings, or hot chocolate in any of these songs.

They are not about snow. They are songs about salvation. They are songs about hope despite all appearances. Songs about the lowly being brought up, the proud brought low, and life-long longings being satisfied.

I can’t wait to dive into these songs. These four songs have been given Latin names, and have been central to the church’s worship for nearly two thousand years.

Here is the outline:

  • December 2: The Benedictus: Zachariah’s Song of Praise (Luke 1:5-25, 57-79)
  • December 9: The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Majesty (Luke 1:26- 56 )
  • December 16: The Gloria Patri: The Angel’s Song of Glory (Luke 2:1-21)
  • December 23: The Nunc Dimittis: Simeon’s Song of Peace (Luke 2: 22-41)

Zachariah’s Song of Praise

This sermon focuses on Luke 1:5-25, 57-79. This is Zachariah’s song of praise.

What is his song about?
– It is about how out of barrenness God brings a baby! About how out of silence comes a song!
– It is about a godly couple whose life is filled with waiting; then wondering; then worshiping.
– It is about God sending a word of promise, and God’s people responding with a song of praise.

This story begins with the silent suffering of a godly couple and ends with the boisterous explosion of worship from a godly but flawed man.

Here is the outline:

The Benedictus: Zechariah’s Song of Praise

Luke 1:5-25, 57-79


  • The Word of Promise (5-25)


      1. The setting (5-7)
      2. Scene 1: Into the Temple (8-10)
      3. Scene 2 The Promise (11-17)
      4. Scene 3 The Punishment (18-25)


  • The Song of Praise (57-79)


    1. Scene 1: The Birth (57-67)
    2. Stanza 1: Our Salvation (68-75)
      1. Incarnation
      2. Fulfillment
      3. Deliverance
      4. For Worship
    3. Stanza 2: His Son (76-79)

The names of the story, tell the story.

  • Zechariah means God remembers.
  • Elizabeth means God is faithful.
  • John means God is merciful/gracious.
  • Jesus means God saves.

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