The ragged man sits in his jail cell surrounded by the scattered refuse left to him. The stuff they didn’t bother to take. And he hears their steps, coming ever closer.

free from fear and saved from the hands of our foes

He lifts head from the puddle of tears.

his holy covenant remembered

He remembers the dove. And the light.

he has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of his servant David

He still believes.

and as for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God the Most High

He’s just a jailed dissident, now.

he promised by the lips of holy men, those who were his prophets of old

His head falls back towards the puddle. They have come. And he whispers a desperate prayer.

he will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death

As they drag him out into the light, he reaches for his old instincts.

guide me into the way of peace

He sees the headsman coming.

forgiveness of all their sins

And the axe falling.

you shall go ahead of the Lord, to prepare his way before him

And then he understands.

the loving-kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high

Amen.

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