Luke 1:21-25, 57-66
Meanwhile, the people outside the temple had been waiting for Zechariah to come out and give them a blessing, wondering why it was taking him so long. When Zechariah finally did arrive, he tried to communicate what had happened with his hands, for he was still unable to speak. The people were in awe as they realized he must have seen a vision while he was in the temple.
Zechariah hurried to the house he and Elizabeth were staying at in Jerusalem, during his term of service. For they lived in the hill county of Judea. He couldn’t wait to tell her everything that had happened, though he knew he would have to write it all down, so she could understand him. He thought to himself, what a joyous, joyous day it was!
Elizabeth did in fact get pregnant and when the time came for the baby to be born, she gave birth to a boy, just as the angel had foretold. Their neighbors and relatives rejoiced with them over this miracle that the Lord had given them. They all wanted to name the baby, Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”
The relatives argued that no one in their family had ever been called John before. It just wasn’t done; the baby’s name must be Zechariah. Elizabeth was close to tears as the argument escalated around her. Suddenly there was a loud bang on the table, and all eyes turned to see Zechariah standing there. He lifted his hand for silence and then picked up his writing tablet from the table. He turned it, so everyone could see what he had written. In large bold letters it read, “HIS NAME IS JOHN!”
There was an audible gasp in the room, and then Zechariah began to speak. He started praising God and shouting for joy. And everyone in the room did the same thing. The good news spread to the neighborhood and throughout the Judean hills. Everyone knew the hand of God was on this child in a special way and they wondered just what he would do when he grew up.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the miracle birth of John the Baptist. We know you are constantly at work in our own lives too, Lord. But at times, we struggle with finances, health issues, marriage problems and a hundred other difficulties that can drain us of our joy in you. Encourage us today Father, reveal your gracious hand of blessing and care in our lives and help us wait patiently for the answers to our own prayers, just as Zechariah did. We love you Lord. Amen.