But his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John." They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."
When I am pregnant with my first child, we spend many hours discussing names and trying to decide on one.
Months ahead, we agree on a name if we have a girl: Sarah Jane. My parents are pleased as I have two aunts with those names. Plus, my middle name is "Jane".
All is right with the world.
Until we decide not to use any family names if we have a boy. Henry, my grandfather's first name and my father's middle one, seems antiquated to us.
And, although I like William, my brother is already William Henry, the third. So, that name is out, too.
No other choices on either side of our families are appealing. We choose to go the original route in choosing a boy's name.
Even though this doesn't make the families happy.
But, which name will it be?
We grapple for weeks with this decision. We can't seem to agree.
And, now, we are only four weeks away from delivery . . .
"James!" I blurt out of the blue. "What do you think about calling him James?"
"As long as it isn't shortened to Jim or Jimmy, it will do just fine."
Done! What a relief to have this dilemma resolved.
All that's left to do now is wait for little James or Sarah Jane to arrive . . .
It is one week past my due date. I wake up each morning wondering if today is the day. I'm weary of swollen ankles, swollen fingers, and looking like I swallowed a watermelon whole.
I'm so anxious for this birth to happen.
"Am I ever going to meet you?" I say aloud to my belly.
That's when I hear it . . .
Am I dreaming???
My name is Daniel.
"Daniel . . . Daniel," I whisper, over and over.
When my husband enters the room, I smile broadly.
"His name is Daniel," I announce. "We're having a boy!"
The name "John" means "God is gracious". "Daniel" means "God is my Judge". Do you know the meaning of your name? How was your name given to you?
Will you pray with me?
We are so grateful, Father, that you know each of your children and call us by name. May we live into the calling you have for us. Amen.
Psalms 93, 96 or 148, 150
Revelation 22:6-11, 18-20