18 Days ‘til Christmas

On the 7th Day of Christmas – Encourage one another in the way of the Lord.

Luke 1:59-66 “When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!” “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God. Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.”

Almost every family celebrates a baby coming into the world in some form or another.

Many of these celebrations happen before the baby is born so that mom and baby can rest after the birth. However, in the Jewish faith, drawn from the commandment in Leviticus 12:2, the family celebrates the circumcision, 8 days after birth, with a ceremony to symbolize the covenant partnership with God in raising this child.

As we read in the scripture passage above, at 8 days after the birth of John, Elizabeth and Zechariah held the usual ceremony to celebrate their son for becoming part of God’s covenant nation. All their friends and family came to welcome the baby and celebrate this wonderful gift. Dad, Zechariah, however, had become mute after finding out about this surprise baby, and everyone else in the family decided to give Elizabeth their 2 cents on what the baby’s name should be.

Elizabeth knew this baby was to be John, meaning Jehovah has shown favor, but the family wanted him named after his dad. So, Zechariah took a writing tablet and confirmed the baby’s name was to be John. Immediately, Zechariah’s mouth opened and his voice returned. His friends and family were in awe. They didn’t just celebrate John, in their excitement they spread the news of this miracle child throughout the whole neighborhood and stood in amazement and wonder of what this child would be.

When we hear news, either good or bad, we should be an encouragement to one another. We should lift up our friends and family because the news we here is all a part of God’s plan. It may be easier to take a back seat, no seat, or rumor seat, but then instead of spreading the light of Christ, we are squelching the light of Christ.

No matter the situation, no matter the story, if it’s good – be happy for one another, if its bad – try to be an encouragement, or if it’s sad – let them lean on your shoulder.

Be there for your fellow family in Christ and help them in any way you can. Encourage them and by this Glorify God with your words and your faith.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

Look around today, who could you be an encouragement to?

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