Well Meaning Diversionary Friends

Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she gave birth to a son.  Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.  And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father.  But his mother answered and said, “No indeed; but he shall be called John.”  And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by that name.”  And they made signs to his father, as to what he wanted him called.And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, “His name is John.” And they were all astonished. (Luke 1:57-63 NASB)

I was told when I was young by some old Baptist minister that, “The will of God can be overturned by a simple majority in a Baptist business meeting.”  I chuckled because it was supposed to be funny, but honestly, I didn’t get it.  I do now.  I learned it the hard way.  Elizabeth and Zachariah probably already knew it.  But, in spite of the risk of offending their well-meaning neighbors and relatives, they named their son John.

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Magnificent Mother of Jesus

And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
(Luke 1:46-47 NASB)

The Magnificat is one of the beginning ‘hymns’ included in Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth.  This is the song of Mary sang when she visits her very elder relative, Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John (the Baptist).  Mary is very far from her immediate family visiting Elizabeth.  Suddenly, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, and affirms the angel’s proclamation to Mary.  The pregnant teenager, Mary, then sings this song.  It’s called the Magnificat in church tradition because that’s the first word in the Latin version of it.

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