Reflection: As children, we have little control over what our name will be. Our parents choose based on a variety of reasons. For example, my real name is “Dolores Marie”. I was told that this was a very special name my father chose especially for me. It was the combined names of a mother and daughter with whose family he lived during his final years of high school. They opened their home to him and treated him like a family member with the love of Christ. I cherished the thought that I was blessed with the name because of what it meant to my dad. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned the actual meaning of the name: It is derived from the word ‘dolores’ meaning pain. The name refers to one of the many Spanish titles for the Virgin Mary, Maria de los Dolores, which means ‘Mary of the Sorrows’.” I am still not sure how I feel about that!
Most of us have probably looked up the meaning of our name. In the passage for today, Zechariah prophesies with a song, the first time he has spoken in nine months. His mouth was opened to praise God in this way when he pronounced that the name of his son would be “John”. This was in support of Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, who had already declared the name to her neighbors and relatives when they came to circumcise John on the eighth day.
Curious as to the meaning of the name John, I looked it up to find it “is derived from the Hebrew Yohanan, meaning graced by God.” It is a solid, traditional name that exudes strength, smarts, and kindness.” It also means that God is gracious, or that God is merciful. How perfect a name for the one who came to announce the coming of the Messiah. We are truly graced by God with Jesus, and we are shown His everlasting mercy through Jesus’ death and resurrection. John definitely lived up to his NAME!!!
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for the message of John, honoring the name so perfectly chosen for him. Amen.