“Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her” (Luke 1:57-58).
Every child should enter the world surrounded by celebration as grateful parents, excited relatives and neighbors come bearing thoughtful and useful gifts. We don’t need permission to throw a party for a newborn baby and his mom. This neighborhood was ecstatic when little John, “the future, first Baptist” made his entry. Jehovah the “gracious giver” was blessing Zacharias and Elizabeth with the epitome of the “better-late-than-never” gift.
On the day of John’s dedication, his father, Zacharias, added his instruction, writing on a slate: “His name is John,” and then the gift of speech returned to the old priest, and he began praising God. If that had been his response when Gabriel first informed him of God’s plan to bless him and Elizabeth with a son, he could have been praising God aloud the whole time rather than being given vocal rest for nine months. Now he had plenty to say about God’s ability to keep His word and “perform the mercy promised” to the ancient elders. (Luke 1:72). John’s dad knew that his son would be a, “prophet going before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to the people.”
John was not the Messiah, but his cry broke the silence like a drum roll announcing that the main event was just around the corner and down the road a bit in Bethlehem. So, Happy Birthday to you, John. We’re so glad you’ve come.