Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


The first chapter of Luke’s gospel is so rich it could give us the gout IF, in one sitting,we tried to ingest the whole thing.

The opening act whisks me away to a place that feels as near as it does otherworldly. Time collapses. High salvation drama picks up steam and I feel for Zechariah. I know the littlest bit about experiencing the enormity of God swirling about and yet needing help when it comes to speaking.

To this section often called the birth of John the Baptist there is more:

• Folk still reeling from the news that Elizabeth and Zechariah had conceived • The ripening of time • Neighbors and relatives who, after a spell of pure joy, expect to have input • A mother that has to tell everyone to back off • Tension over the name of a baby • A defense of tradition when it appears that a tradition is fixing to be broken • A father who is at a loss for words--literally • A breakthrough • A changed neighborhood • Imaginations kicked into high and hopeful gear • A strong sense of God being intimately involved.

This could all be said of the season in which a little one has entered our lives. It may ring true for Katie and Matt Gooch, with at least one exception. Whereas Zechariah and Elizabeth’s relatives did not have the name John, Leo is a family name. Leo is named after his great-grandfather and then grandfather -- Matt’s dad -- who died on October 19, 2016. Little Leo was born on October 26.

It is a bittersweet piece of the story which Leo’s parents will carry long after the days of carrying Leo have passed. Church, this is where we come in. We lift high our belief in the Communion of Saints, summoning those who have gone before us to bring their rowdy—to cheer on the baptized one! That promise we make to show up: Thanks be to God for those who keep it in this life and in the life to come.