A Christmas Letter from Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Peter Reid

Sometimes my wife or I struggle with insomnia. Lately, we’ve been listening to Audio Bible in the middle of the night via BibleGateway.com, a website designed to allow easy listening of the Bible in many different versions and translations. We started with the Gospel of Luke and rarely get through the first chapter before falling asleep. We have listened to Luke 1 several times now. As a result, there is a simple phrase that has stuck in my heart. It is the simple acknowledgement from Zechariah when he said, “His name is John!”

While fulfilling his religious duties, the aging priest Zechariah was visited by an angel. Although Zechariah and Elizabeth had long prayed for a son, they had given up believing that God would hear. Zechariah was old; his wife was old; hope was gone. But here he was told that he was going to have a son and would call him John. Zechariah almost laughed in the angel’s face, and being a crusty old priest, he scoffed and refused to believe such an outlandish idea.

The angel struck him dumb and took away his speech, because of his downright faithlessness. Zechariah fell silent, neither speaking when his wife informed him she was pregnant, nor speaking when it became evident to all that the old woman was with child. And when the baby was born, Elizabeth’s family argued with her when she announced his name and tried to shout her down, since no one in the family was named John. Zechariah asked for a quill-pen and wrote the following phrase that has stayed with me: “His name is John!” Suddenly, he was able to speak again!

This was not up for discussion; it was not up for debate. Zechariah ignored the family tree and he didn’t want to hear an argument, He simply stated, “His name is John!” It settled things. Zechariah was fully convinced that God was in control.  God was up to something wonderful! God did this!

This simple little phrase, “His name is John” adds a level of confidence to our faith in the Christmas story. God sent John, God sent Jesus, and the rest is history!

We continue to hold fast in faith to God in times of waiting and in times of pressure. Jesus is in control of our circumstances. He is our rescue—our Good News for Christmas and all times.

On behalf of the President of the CBAC, Mr. Andrew Hopper, the Council and the CBAC Staff, we extend to you and your family our sincere hope that you will have a joyous Advent Season. Thank you for your faithful support of our shared ministries and your partnership in the Gospel as we continue to serve the Lord Jesus Christ together.