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Birth Story

Read Luke 1:57-66

When the baby was eight days old, all the relatives and friends came for the circumcision ceremony. They all assumed the baby's name would be Zacharias, after his father.

But Elizabeth said, "No! He must be named John!"

"What?" they exclaimed. "There is no one in all your family by that name." So they asked the baby's father, talking to him by gestures.

He motioned for a piece of paper and to everyone's surprise wrote, "His name is John!" Instantly Zacharias could speak again, and he began praising God. Luke 1: 59-64 (TLB)

Ivan W. Nicholson is from Minnesota. One day his daughter-in-law asked him to share his son's birth story. In her Native American tradition, birth stories carry particular importance. She knew her own birth story and those of their two daughters, but not her husband's. Ivan realized that he had never told his son this story.

On a fall evening, his wife and Ivan went to the hospital anticipating the arrival of their first child one month early. The next morning, under a clear blue sky, his wife went into labor. She was sedated, but Ivan was present. Soon after delivery, his wife began hemorrhaging. She never regained consciousness and she passed away six hours later.

The first person to come to the hospital was their pastor, David. Then came his best friend, David, and his wife, along with his oldest brother, John. As his wife and Ivan had not chosen baby names, John David seemed appropriate. John means "God is gracious" or "gracious gift of God," and David means "beloved."

Ivan knows God was present at John's birth and grieved at the death of his mother. God Surrounded his son with love that day and has continued to love and watch over him. His son now knows that in him God gave the world a beautiful gift.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to love and trust you even when our situation causes us to question our relationship with you. In the name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

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