December 18- Luke 1:57-66
v.64 "And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God."
I was named after my two grandfathers, Thomas and Lawrence. Ezra's middle name is Thomas. I'm as proud to pass along my maternal grandfather's name, Thomas, as I am for my paternal surname to be carried on by my sons.
Zechariah and Elizabeth waited their whole lives before receiving a son in their old age. "Where are you, son?" More than anyone, they deserved for their firstborn to carry on the family name and be called "Zechariah son of Zechariah."
The Hebrew name that became John is Yochanan, which means, "Yahweh is gracious."
The Lord was gracious to Elizabeth and Zechariah in their barrenness. Even more, John would prepare the way of the Lord Jesus' coming. For all the fire and brimstone in John's preaching and in his baptism of repentance, this prophet's greater purpose was to carry the name and serve the graciousness of God. When Jesus begins his ministry, John acknowledges, "He must increase; I must decrease" (John 3:30). Our lives speak to the grace of God as well, as we point to Jesus.
Gracious God, teach us to carry your name to the world, representing your gracious favor in our own thoughts, words, and deeds. Amen.