The birth of John the Baptist. Luke’s gospel says, is closed connected to the birth of Jesus. today. We celebrate the two births as we draw near to Christmas. Struck dumb by doubt, John’s father Zechariah speaks again as he agrees to the child’s name. “John is his name.”
Artists often portray the birth of John in a room with midwives attending Elizabeth at his birth, but Luke’s gospel portrays Zechariah his father singing a song at his birth.. “In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us. For you, my child, shall go before the Lord to prepare his way, by the forgiveness of sins” He sees the birth of John in a larger perspective.
“The dawn from on high shall break upon us.” A new day can dawn in a spectacular way at times. I saw daybreak over New York City a few years ago from our house in Union City. Shortly before, the city was dark, then the day broke to bathe it in gold. What promise daybreak holds!
These days, darkened by political unrest worldwide, poverty, terrorism, racial problems and homelessness, we need grace from on high. Christmas comes at a good time.
O King of all nations and keystone of the church, come and save us whom you formed from the dust.