December 12, 2022
Sometimes hearing from God and following his direction takes a whole family!
In this passage, the family and friends of Zechariah and Elizabeth are excited to welcome a new baby! As with many families, we imagine that this was a time of joyous celebration, a rehearsing of stories and traditions, and even some familial bickering as this family marvelled at the miraculous birth of this new member.
The birth scene seems to be a true picture of taking a village to raise a child.
And then comes time for the naming of the new arrival. Families love to be involved and often have opinions about baby names - and this family appears to be no different. There seems to be an assumption that the child's name should be Zechariah - after his dad. However, this dad has had a direct word from God and yet he can't even speak it! It's a beautiful way that Elizabeth steps in and shares God's direction with the rest of the family- even though they didn't hear the message directly themselves. God has a way of working in and through families - and sometimes listening to Him and following his will means going against the usual traditions. In this story, the rest of the family accepted this message and marvelled at the plans that God had for them and their new little one!
The eighth day as the day of circumcision and naming is highlighted. This reminded us that God created the earth in 7 days and the eighth day would mark the first day of a new week - a first chance to listen and follow God. This family listened well and followed God's plan for them.
This Advent season may your family hear well from God and follow his plan - even if it means changing traditions! He has big plans for you! And hopefully this time will be devoid of family bickering, going mute or getting circumcised! And filled with laughter!
Written by the Atkinson Family