Personal Growth
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Gaining Perspective on What Matters Most

During the Christmas Season, we read a lot about Jesus’s birth. I love the birth story in Luke 2! But there is another birth story we find in Luke 1, that is of John the Baptist.

John’s birth finally happened after Elizabeth and Zechariah had probably given up hope of ever having children as they were both pretty old.

And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her. – Luke 1:58

There was much rejoicing and celebrating for the arrival of this new baby.  Everyone couldn’t wait to know what they would name it.  But when Elizabeth said, “His name is John!” everyone was shocked (Luke 1:60).  How could that be his name? He should be named after his father. 

It’s interesting how their friends and relatives “knew” what was best for them.  I don’t think anyone meant any discontent by the suggestion, but they didn’t know the whole story. We see back in verse 13, an angel had told Zechariah he was to name his child John. So let’s not throw them under the bus just yet. 

I get how Zechariah and Elizabeth must have felt in that moment. Karen and I are expecting our third child. Lots of people have been celebrating with us and saying how they think it is a boy. Everyone who really wants us to have a boy is simply seeing it from their point of view, “They have two girls and it will be great for them to have a boy.” I get that. 

This is where the people are in the story of John the Baptist. 

As the story continues, Zechariah steps in and writes, “His name is John” (Luke 1:63).  In that moment, Zechariah received his voice because of his faith.  Then “awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what 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” (Luke 1:65-66).

Much like whether or not Karen and I have a boy isn’t the most important thing, John’s name wasn’t the most important thing. God created John with a very specific purpose and when everyone realized that, what he was called seemed to not matter as much anymore. 

Today we found out what we are having, boy or girl. On the way, we both agreed it didn’t matter.  It will be the child God gives us to raise on His behalf and we will be pleased to have the honor to do it. We will have a baby at the end of April and when we all see it and hold it, it won’t really matter that we are having a

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Heath is serving as the Executive Pastor of Adult Discipleship at SoHills. He is the husband of Karen and father of Reese (5) and Vivian (3). He is a lover of God, the outdoors, sports, and good food. Heath is passionate about helping people learn about themselves and discover how God loves them.


    • Heath Neal says

      I’m not sure why it did that. It was me, Heath that wrote it. And if you are wondering, we are having a girl.

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