Speak Lord: name us and mission us

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The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son; and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.

Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’, and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they were all astonished. At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God. All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea. All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.

Meanwhile the child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.

Gospel for Solemnity of St John the Baptist
Luke 1:57-66,80

Zecariah names his son, or rather Zecariah affirms the name chosen for his son by an angel and confirmed by his wife. The name means ‘Beloved of God. And John is, and his teaching will be that we are too, so beloved that. despite our sin and frailty, the Kingdom of God is close to us , and for us.

  • Who will this child turn out to be?
  • Who will we turn out to be?

Stained glass. St John the Baptist church, Cardiff. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

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