“He will be called John. John is his name.” 24Jun2018

The naming of a child is a special privilege of parenthood.  There are many considerations that go into the choice. Family heritage usually plays a big role and a name is chosen that ties the child to one of the relatives in the family tree. Often times, the saints are considered and the child is named after a saint who is special to mother or father or both. You may know someone who was named after an event, a song, a physical or geographical place like, “River,” or whose names were simply the combination of words that were pleasing to the ears of his or her parents. Regardless of how the name is chosen, there is a sense of ownership on the part of the parents when they give their child a name. Yes, he or she will grow up to be his or her own person but there is always that gift from mom and dad reminding him or her of their special family connection.

In the end, though, our children are not our own. They are God’s and we are given them to raise to His praise and glory. When we, as parents, recognize this simple truth and realize the great responsibility we have been given, then parenthood is raised to a level greater than what the world would suggest.

This higher level is evident in the case of John the Baptist. He was named by God but both parents provide their stamp of acquiescence and approval to God’s Will—in recognition of the gift they have been given—by declaring to the their friends and relatives how the child will be named. Elizabeth says, “He will be called John,” and Zechariah, mute from his encounter with the angel, writes, “John is his name.”

We don’t see him until he begins preaching at the Jordon. We know nothing of his youth. Luke says, he was in the desert. The friends of his parents ask, “What , then, will this child be?”

He will be and is a man of God!

Deacon Richard

 

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