And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God.
Mary was never so happy as when she finally met John, son of Zachariah and Elizabeth. Her cousin, round and near-to-burst for weeks now, gave birth to a beautiful, plumb, baby boy just days ago. Since he came into the world, screaming and red-faced, he stole Mary’s heart away from her, and she awaited the moment she could hold her own baby, Jesus.
Now, family gathers for the circumcision, crowding into the temple to wait for Elizabeth to bring the little boy to them.
Just eight days old, and already so big, Mary thinks to herself. She admires him in Elizabeth’s arms across the room as voices begin to rumble around her.
“That is not his name,” Her cousin says to the crowd, her voice gentle. “His name is John.”
She looks down at her baby the way only a mother can, and Mary is speared right through the heart with love for her cousin, and sweet Zachariah who still hasn’t spoken, even with his son’s miracle birth.
Mary watches as the group asks Zachariah what he wants. Does he agree with Elizabeth, even though John is not a family name? It’s true, it’s unheard of, but Zachariah writes it down so no one can question it.
His name is to be John.
The people watch his hand move over the tablet, and look up in surprise. John.
And as the eyes again fall on the baby at the center of the group, the baby to be named John, all eyes turn to the new father, who’s shouts of praise to God echo throughout the temple!
Elizabeth laughs out loud as she jumps toward her husband, who she hasn’t heard a word from in weeks. A smile crosses her face.
As Mary leaves the little family to begin her own trek home, the story of the new baby John spreads far and wide. People all over the village and beyond wonder what will become of the miracle boy, John, but Mary seems to already know. As her wagon rumbles over rocks and hills toward home, Mary’s arms wrap around her belly, a miracle baby of her own growing every day.
*Read about the prophesied life of John the Baptist in Luke 1: 57-80 and Mark 1: 1-11