4:30pm homily on June 24, 2018
I remember being so excited, I was 9 years old, and my mom was pregnant and our parents said we could choose NAMES for the baby!! Oh wonderful…. Well I used to watch
on TV a lot and so I kept asking for that name if it was a girl and I used to also watch
And so I was determined that CAPTAIN PENNY was going to be the boy’s name!!
(LAUGH) Of course NONE of my names were chosen!!
Today you came to church when the liturgy celebrates the birth and NAMING of Elizabeth’s and Zechariah’s child… a child unexpected in their old age.
You probably all remember the announcement of this pregnancy… Zechariah was IN CHURCH… and as he was praying (he was a HOLY MAN) an angel came to visit him there and told him…. You are going to have a son and YOU MUST NAME HIM JOHN!!
?????? Well…… Zechariah became skeptical and a bit unbelieving and so the angel the angel made him speechless!!!
When the boy child was born…. As we just heard…. Zechariah writes on the tablet:
And everything went back to normal.
So what do you suppose this has to do with us church-going people???
ANSWER: By coming to church and hearing
HIS NAME WILL BE JOHN
You are actually hearing:
Yahweh has been gracious!
That is what the HEBREW name JOHN means, “Yahweh has been gracious”.
(ASK: anybody here named JOHN? ….. applause)
So, I am not sure how your week was or how the upcoming week will be, but, God is telling the celebratory church;
I’m going to be gracious to you,
I have been gracious to you,
I’ll always be gracious to you!
Everyone needs to hear this…. Our attitudes should first be shaped by believing that God is gracious and kind, courteous and civil, sociable and congenial.
Being born in that image and likeness as we are,
1. How are we doing being GRACIOUS AND KIND to all our relatives?
2. How courteous and civil are we to those of different race, color and creed?
3. How sociable and congenial are we to our neighbors?
The CHURCH in her wisdom, through this liturgy, is trying to take us all to the next level of
1. Living well with ALL PEOPLE
(We need to grow in our charity, especially in our thoughts…. ……many times it is the thoughts that we harbor that are the worst thing)
And the church is trying to take us to the next level of
2. Dealing with ALL kinds of mysterious happenings (the pregnancy of a barren woman and an old age couple!!)
YAHWEH HAS BEEN GRACIOUS; let us all imitate HIM!