On: November 17, 2014 | By: admin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
“On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, ‘No! He is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘There is no one among your relatives who has that name.’ Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, ‘His name is John.'” [Luke 1:59-63]
It’s all in the name! Zechariah means ‘God has remembered’. John means ‘God has been gracious’. Family tradition would have it that the child should be named after his father. This name would probably have seemed all the more appropriate as God had miraculously intervened to remember Elizabeth in her old age. But God had different ideas. He knew the calling He had placed on the child’s life: to prepare the way for the One who would be the channel of His grace to all mankind.
An interesting picture, I would suggest, of the path we choose for our lives. Are we pressing ahead down the road of family or peer expectation, often with the focus on achievement and fulfilment – the way of the World? Or are we prepared to stop and listen for God’s voice; to pause to discern His call, which may well take us in a very different direction, one that may be less easy to immediately understand – the Way of The Lord? They will often, though not always, be different paths. Consider Lamentations 3:40 -“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.”
Dare we examine our life aims and test them against what God might have in store for us?
[Today’s picture is a little mischievous. The baptismal font in Norwich Cathedral had a previous life in a factory manufacturing chocolate. Nice. It then received a higher calling. Oops!]
Father God, I apologise if I have focussed my energies on my own ambition and plans. Show me your ways, teach me your paths and guide me into your truth (Psalm 25:4), that I may live my life for the extension of Your Kingdom and to Your glory. Amen.