We start the Advent season with the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah – the parents of John the Baptist. Rev. Schaefer asked the question, “What’s in a name?” Names in the biblical times had a lot of power. Zechariah’s name meant ‘God Remembers.’ Elizabeth’s name meant ‘God is my Oath.’ And had they followed tradition, their son would have also been named Zechariah. But when Zechariah doubted that God really remembered him, he became mute for the 9 months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. They were instructed to name their son John, which meant ‘God has been Gracious.’ God DID remember Zechariah and Elizabeth, and He did keep His oath to them, and out of His grace, in time, they bore John, who was the voice calling in the wilderness, preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah. It signaled the beginning of Advent, and the beginning of the world without end.
Based on various passages from Luke 1.