But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for byour prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John."
~ Luke 1:13
In the first hours of the day, a dear friend of ours gave birth to their first child. A son. His middle name is Grant, after my first name.
Names are something that often have meaning, whether after someone, or in the case of John the Baptist and Jesus, predetermined by some vast eternal plan.
Like Abraham of the early Hebrew scriptures, John the Baptist was born to parents who were quite elderly. His father, Zechariah, was over ninety years old, and was part of a long line of priests. One day while he was carrying out his duties in that role, the angel Gabriel visited. He was told his wife would give birth to a son, and that his name would be John. He sealed the deal, my sealing Zechariah's ability to speak.
I sometimes have to laugh when I consider some of the first words I shared when I first learned I was going to be a parent. Perhaps the condition was to keep the birth of Biblical proportion. It wasn't until the day of John's circumcision that he wrote the name of John on a piece of paper, and then suddenly had his voice returned.
We know that Elizabeth was a cousin to Mary, and that John and Jesus would, together, serve in God's plan for all humanity.
While I sometimes think of what kind of childhood these two had, and how John came to his choice of clothing and eating habits, it is a reminder that any of us, at any point, and under any condition, can be part of God's plan.
His name shall be John!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.