John the Baptist has a Birthday

 

“It’s the birth day of John the Baptist,” I told the Friday morning men’s Bible Class I teach. “How do we know when he was born?” someone asked. “It’s six months until Christmas,” I said.  “But then we don’t know for sure that Jesus was born on December 25, He probably wasn’t.”  I said.  “The church just assigned December 25 to Jesus as his birthday and six months before that is June 24.  Now why they didn’t put his birthday on June 25th, I don’t know.”  Such is the intelligent conversations we have in this class of retirees.  We had 12 in attendance today which is pretty much the usual group.  The class is made up of a couple of engineers, a former president at CPH, a lawyer/judge, others who were in management positions, a plumber etc.

When I finally got the group corralled, we read the story of John the Baptist’s birth from Luke 1:57-66.  I like this story of an older couple welcoming the birth of their first child.  When Elizabeth first found out she was pregnant she hid herself for five months.  She had been childless and in that culture it was the woman who was thought to be at fault.  Now she is pregnant.  “Now the Lord looks upon me to remove my reproach?”

However, eventually she had decided that it wasn’t any use hiding out.  She couldn’t keep a new baby hidden.  And the negative gossip had not developed, rather when she gave birth everyone rejoiced with her.  What was gossiped about in the hill country of Judea revolved around the question, “What then will this child be?”

Almighty God, through John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, You once proclaimed salvation.  Now grant that we may know this salvation and serve You in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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