“On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, ‘No; he is to be called John.’ They said to her, ‘None of your relatives has this name.’ Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And all of them were amazed.” —Luke 1:59-63.
If your name is John or some derivative, June 24 is your name day. It is also celebrated as the birthday of John the Baptist. In some countries such as Greece, this is even more important than your regular birthday. When our daughter, Joanna, and her dad were in Greece on this, her name day, their guide Maria did not charge them for taking them around that day. When others heard that it was her name day, they gave her gifts.
Just as important as this name day is to our family is the remembrance that June 24 is the birthday of Bob, my husband’s father, who showed us and our children so much unconditional care and love. More and more in my life, I find it important to remember people who taught us about unconditional love. As we remember the person, we can feel that love they brought into our lives.
Consider finding out about your name, how you got your name, and even your name day.
On June 24, I also remember my grandparents Joe and Anna, as I was named after them. Again, these were two people who taught me about love without conditions. I was the “apple of their eye.” They loved me no matter what I did. They did not always condone what I did, but they still loved the sinner. Through their love, I learned about the unconditional love of God.
Honor and remember those who have brought the presence of love into your life. My experience is that in bringing them back into our memory, we can still feel and experience that love—even if they are not with us and are now living in eternal life. The God of my understanding does not give us this love and then stop it at death. Love lives on. Love never dies.