Day 74

Numbers 22:21‐23:30; Luke 1:57‐80; Psalm 58:1‐11; Proverbs 11:12‐13

An Ordinary Birth?

Isn’t it awesome how God intervenes on Planet Earth through predictable and typical events? A child is born to Elizabeth and Zechariah, and their neighbors and family rejoice.  Eight days later, the baby boy is circumcised. All expect his parents to name him Zechariah or another family name.

We rejoice with parents when their child is born. Faithful Jewish couples have their baby boys circumcised eight days after their births, in accordance with the Law of the Lord (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:3). It is also customary in Hebrew families to choose a family name for their baby boys, usually the father’s name, on the day of circumcision. All predictable and typical.

But “predictable and typical” end here in Luke’s story of John’s birth. The baby is to be named “John,” not a family name. Zechariah, previously made mute and possibly deaf because of his skepticism of Gabriel’s predictions, confirms God’s name for his son. Perhaps because he finally accepts what Gabriel has foretold about John’s important role, Zechariah’s speech is restored. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and praises God. His heart is transformed! Zechariah is the first in Luke’s Gospel to prophecy to Israel that salvation is imminent. The extraordinary events surrounding John’s birth became the talk of Judea.

God continues to intervene on Earth through ordinary people and typical events. When we hear, see, trust, and accept God’s intervention in our lives, we can testify to others and  praise God. Holy Spirit, transform my heart. Open my mouth to proclaim the Good News which You have made known to me through ordinary and extraordinary events!

Nina Bolton
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL