Q:  What color is the sky right before dawn? 

A:  Blue.

If you were sitting in church pew 50 years ago at this time of year, Sundays in Advent used purple paraments.  In recent decades, there has been a reorientation of Advent.  Seeing it as less of a mini-Lenten season, more as a gifted season in and of itself.  Advent has moved away from the idea of simple penitence and toward hope.  And so, parament colors were changed from purple to blue–the color of faith.  The color of the sky, right before the dawn.  (thanks to Professor David Lose at Luther Seminary for inspiring these thoughts)

Normally our practice at First Lutheran is to keep with the lectionary cycle of readings in worship.  But this Sunday we will deviate slightly.  Rather than using what is prescribed (a sequential reading of John the Baptist’s ministry in Luke 3), we are instead lifting up Zechariah’s song in Luke chapter 1 for our Gospel reading this Sunday, December 6th.  It had been assigned as the Psalm for the day.  I am giving it higher place.

NOTE:  You can read the excerpt here, but I’d encourage you to read the entire chapter, which you can find here.

Within Zechariah’s song is beautiful poetic language.  Obvious fatherly pride.  Priestly awe.  Certainly, some political commentary.  And…this amazing foresight.  He speaks of God’s salvation in the past tense (something that has been), and in the future tense (something that will be accomplished). 

What does Zechariah know about God that others didn’t?  Where do faith and foresight intersect?

Lord, give light to those who sit in darkness.  Guide our feet in the path of peace.  Amen.