Thursday, November 11, 2004 +

GS 005 Elisabeth’s Time Comes

She gives birth to a son. Hearing of God’s gift to her, her relatives and friends gather to be happy with her. For seven days they call the baby Zachary after his father. Then it’s time to circumcise the boy.

ELISABETH. No—his name’s John.

They go to Zachary for some sign what he’ll call his son. Asking for a tablet, he writes, to everyone’s surprise, “His name is John.” Immediately, Zachary’s mouth opens—his tongue loosens.

ZACHARY. Praise the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and rescued his people. He has sounded the horn of our salvation in the house of his servant David. As he spoke through the mouths of his holy prophets since the world began, so he will save us from our enemies and free us from the hand of all that hate us. He will perform the mercy promised to our father Abraham, that he will grant that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, shall serve him without fear, upright and holy before him, every day of our life. You, baby boy, will be called the prophet of the Highest. You will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people the knowledge of their salvation through God’s tender mercy in forgiving their sins. The morning sun of heaven has risen before us to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death: it will guide our feet to the way of freedom.

God’s hand is on John. As the story of his birth becomes known, people stop, look into themselves, and ask, “What will the boy be?” He will grow up strong and impetuous, and go to live in the wilderness till the day comes when he shows himself to Israel.