A Story in Names
Preparing for the Third Sunday of Advent: One Day Before Sunday (Year C)
Psalter: Isaiah 12:2-6
Old Testament: Amos 9:8-15
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66
Father, I want this holiday season to be filled with light instead of darkness. Please help me discard my emotional masks and be real before You as well as my family and friends. Father, help me make this holiday season an offering of praise to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.—Mary Southerland
A curious feature of the Infancy Narratives in the Gospel of Luke is the naming of John the Baptist. When the angel appears to Zechariah, he is instructed to give his promised son the name John (Luke 1:13). On the day of John’s circumcision, Luke tells us that “they [presumably the neighbors and relatives of 1:58] would have called him Zechariah after his father” (1:59). However, whether by her own revelation or silent communication from the mute Zechariah, Elizabeth insists that, unlike anyone else in the family, “he shall be called John” (1:60). And so they called their son John – and it was very good.
But what is the significance of this family tussle over names?
Name and Being
The act of naming is a powerful thing in Scripture – perhaps because, in Scripture, name and being are closely related. The Triune God of Scripture is one whose very name (“I Am That I Am”) speaks of his being. He of course speaks creation into being, and on the first three creation days names what he has made (Gen. 1:1-13). So, God has a name, and names were with God in the beginning.
The rest of the meditation can be read here.
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