Christmas Hope

By John Risner

November 27, 2017

I love baby names. I even enjoy reading baby name books! Before my wife and I had any children, we had already chosen multiple names. And names are important. Like the man named José who couldn’t get a job interview until he misspelled his name on an application. When he wrote his name as Joe, he finally got an interview. Our name can impact how we’re treated by the world around us.

Names in the Bible have great significance. A man named Zechariah broke hundreds of years of tradition when he named his son John (I think it was an excellent choice!). Zechariah was a priest who was sentenced to nine months of silence - his punishment for questioning that his wife would have a baby. The angel told him to name the child John, which means God is Gracious.

Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth had been praying for a child. They also hoped for the advent of the Messiah for their people. God was about to answer both prayers.

“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness…” (Luke 1:76-79 NIV)

What are you hoping for? What prayers are you persistently praying? Never stop believing. The Lord is working all things for the good of those who love Him.

This is Hope. A God who is gracious.

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