(Wondering what this is? For more information, see the introduction.)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the warhorse from Jerusalem;
and the battle-bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
– Zechariah 9
Even in the midst of calling for peace, Zechariah evokes the imagery of war! It is hard, perhaps impossible, for us to truly imagine a world where God’s shalom reigns, even if we know that our souls long for it. Zechariah’s description of the coming king, though, turns the imagery of war on its head–the king we long for, the king we believe we have found in Jesus, asks us to refuse the imagery of power and oppression, and instead comes in humility–on a donkey, in a stable, on a cross. How are we called to give up our pride and claims to power in order to respond to God’s call for peace?
Thou cam’st, the Bridegroom of the bride,
as drew the world to eventide;
proceeding from a virgin shrine,
the spotless Victim all divine.
Enjoy this version (it’s not fancy, but the singing is gorgeous!):
This Advent devotional is intended to help you enter into the season of advent. We hope you enjoy it! Many thanks to the Rev. Paul Jennings for his help putting these reflections together.