MORNING MEDITATION

“Your Name, Your Identity!”

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“Advent Journey Day XVI.’
“Your Name, Your Identity!”(Lk.1:57-66).
In one of my parishes a couple came for the baptism of their child. They said the child’s name is Clercy derived out of their names, Clement and Mercy. Imagine those who fall in love with any name deciding to give the name Clercy to their own child! That would be giving a name that has no relationship to the parents.
It is quite commendable that African Christians now give mother-tongue Christian names to their children. In the past we were brainwashed into taking on Western names and calling them Christian names. When I became inculturated I silenced my George, which in Greek simply means “farmer.”
People often behave reflecting their names. That is why it is important to reflect deeply before selecting a name for your child.
The name which angel Gabriel asked Zechariah to name the child was a reflection of the circumstances of the child’s birth. John means “the LORD is gracious,” or “the LORD shows grace.” Elizabeth recognised this grace of the LORD in her pregnancy and said that the LORD has shown her favour and taken away her disgrace.
When the baby was born both parents told relatives that his name was John. This was a break away from tradition where a son was named after his father. This break away was an indication that God was doing a new thing.
When Gabriel visited Zechariah to announce the about-to-happen good news, Zechariah doubted, and because of that the angel made him dumb. Zechariah spoke again only when he named the son in fulfilment of the angel’s words. As soon as his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, he began to speak, “praising God.”
When God’s grace manifest in us we should sing his praise.
Children are gifts from God and each time a family is blessed with a child, neighbour’s, relatives and friends should join them and share in their joy.
The LORD’S hand was with John. People wondered what he was going to be.
On our part we know John was to be a herald of the Messiah. But even so, he was a great man in his own right.
Speaking about John, the Messiah himself said, “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John…”(Mt.11:11). Even so, the least in the kingdom is greater than John. We should therefore always welcome every baby with unbounded love, care and attention because what each child shall become is hidden with God.
Prayer: Dear LORD give us more children who will be heralds of the good news of salvation. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.

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