If you’ve been touring the Bible with us over the past couple weeks you might remember that Zechariah was given joyful news from an angel that he and Elizabeth were going to have a baby even though they had given up on that idea years before. Zechariah didn’t believe it, even though the angel was delivering the message straight from the only infallible and omnipotent God. What happened? Because of his lack of faith, Zechariah had to deal with lack of voice for the duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy.
You also might remember the days of abundant joy expressed by Elizabeth and Mary as they celebrated the unique blessing of being mothers to miracle babies. We have discovered the joy factor in our readings this week. Today real joy returns to the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah with the birth of their baby. Because of tradition, the friends and family were ready to name the baby Zechariah but by now daddy Zechariah figured out that he needed to get his faith act together and do as God told him. That’s all it took …. Read how it all came to pass.
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.