Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 4th Week of Advent: Year 2
“He asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were amazed.” (Luke 1:63)
I think it is important to look at Zachariah’s response carefully. He did not say his name will be John. He said his name is John. The author of Christening is Christened “John” before he was born!
Zachariah had to write his response as he was still under the penalty of the angel Gabriel and therefore not able to speak. As soon as he wrote the truth as had been told to him from the beginning, he got his voice back. I believe Gabriel was present with them but did not allow them to see him; just as I believe angels are present with us now, but do not allow us to see them. Zachariah got his voice back and so he spoke praising God:
“Then, Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1: 67 to 79)
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John