Names are important to us. We appreciate it when someone recognizes us and calls us by name. It is more difficult to recognize faces and learn names with people wearing face masks because of Covid. But that does not change the fact that names are important.
The angel Gabrielle told Zechariah to name his son "John." John means "God has been gracious." God graciously gave Elizabeth and Zechariah a son when they were too old to have a child. John's mission in life was to announce the Good News that the Promised Savior was coming and to call people back to God.
When eight day old baby boys in Israel were circumcised, they were given their name. Relatives wanted to name the boy after his father. Elizabeth said "His name is John." Zechariah wrote the name "John" on a tablet to confirm what Elizabeth said. Then Zechariah was able to speak.
During nine months of silence, Zechariah learned to listen to, obey and praise God. When we are quiet and let God speak to us, we can see and recognize His grace and give Him praise like Zechariah did.
Names are important. God sent Gabrielle to tell Zechariah to name his son John and an angel to tell Joseph to name Mary's son Jesus because He would save people from their sins. Names are important. The good news for us is that God knows and calls us by our names.