Friday, December 23, 2022
“And his name shall be John.”
Elizabeth and Zechariah were ecstatic. They were having a child, a son. They would need to choose a name. It could not be just any name, it should be a special name; after all, they had waited a long time for this miracle.
The birth and naming of John the Baptist was a special event in the preparation for the coming of Jesus. These cousins proclaimed a new era in God’s salvation story. Elizabeth stated clearly that he was to be called John. The name ‘John’ means ‘The Lord is gracious.’ Elizabeth chose it, and she had a particular experience of the graciousness of God. This was confirmed in writing by Zechariah whose tongue was loosened, and he praised God. Special births with children being named, are part of the salvation story.
The birth of a child is a promise and hope of a new future. The Lord is shaping a new future for humanity and the newborn’s call will be to announce to all that this is just what is happening. As the world suffers in the midst of war, famine and drought, hate and distrust, we need to hear again with hopeful ears, the story of hope and promise, and see with eyes of optimism, the signs of an exciting, peace filled future.