Jesse Tree – Day 20: Zechariah and Elizabeth

Time for another Jesse Tree reading! And this time, we’re moving out of the Old Testament into the New Testament.

Now, a couple of years ago, when I was rereading the gospels in full for the first time as an adult, I was struck by something that I didn’t expect:

The beginning of Gospel of Luke doesn’t start with Jesus.

I knew, of course, that the Gospel of Luke had the infancy narrative of Jesus. But, for some reason, I had expected the gospel to begin with Jesus. And it doesn’t! Instead, it starts with talking about how St. John the Baptist comes to be born. After all, he is the forerunner of Christ!

And so, the ornament for the day is this one:

The words on the tablet say “HIS NAME IS JOHN.” The crochet pattern is here, if you want to follow along, though I will warn you that I embroidered the words instead of making them in tapestry crochet!

This is probably my kids’ favorite ornament, since they are able to read the words, and that thrills them.

So, why is this the ornament? Good question! Let’s look at the story of Zechariah…

The Story of Zechariah

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Panel with the Angel Appearing to Zacharias, by Domingo Ram, c. 1464–1507.
Panel with the Angel Appearing to Zacharias, by Domingo Ram, c. 1464–1507.
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The Annunciation to Zacharias, by Giovanni di Paolo, c. 1455–60. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, United States.
The Annunciation to Zacharias, by Giovanni di Paolo, c. 1455–60. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, United States.
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The Angel Appearing to Zacharias, by William Blake, c. 1799-1800. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, United States.
The Angel Appearing to Zacharias, by William Blake, c. 1799-1800. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, United States.
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The Angel Appears to Zacharias, by Alexander Ivanov, c. 1850s. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
The Angel Appears to Zacharias, by Alexander Ivanov, c. 1850s. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
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The Vision of Zacharias, by James Tissot, c. 1886-94. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States.
The Vision of Zacharias, by James Tissot, c. 1886-94. Brooklyn Museum, New York, New York, United States.
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The Birth, Naming, and Circumcision of Saint John the Baptist, by Giovanni Baronzio, c. 1335. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., United States.
The Birth, Naming, and Circumcision of Saint John the Baptist, by Giovanni Baronzio, c. 1335. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., United States.
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The Birth and Naming of St. John the Baptist, by Barent Fabritius, c. 1660-69. Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.
The Birth and Naming of St. John the Baptist, by Barent Fabritius, c. 1660-69. Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.
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Zechariah Writes Down the Name of His Son, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, c. 1490. Tornabuoni Chapel, Florence, Italy.
Zechariah Writes Down the Name of His Son, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, c. 1490. Tornabuoni Chapel, Florence, Italy.

A lovely story, isn’t it? 🙂

But that’s only the beginning! Because very soon, we’ll delve a little further into St. John the Baptist’s story!

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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