And fear came over all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.
John was born into a world that hummed with excitement over his birth. His was a story his parents and their neighbors were anxious to see play out, since clearly 'the hand of the Lord was with him.'
One of the beauties of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts (really, a 2-volume work) is how they celebrate the playing out of God's plan. The center piece of the unfolding of that plan is its involvement of people, from our Lord, to his mother, to John, to the apostles, to the Jewish leaders, to the crowds. While it is God who carries out his plan, his plan is about human beings and involves them, whether in their cooperation or in their resistance. He uses what they give him.
All of life is charged with the presence of God, a God who is active in bringing about his will. Unfortunately, we aren't usually aware of this; perhaps we've forgotten it after millennia of trying to go it alone, or perhaps we actively avoid accepting God's presence in spite of nagging suspicions. However, when we are aware of God's presence, when events (like those surrounding John's birth) alert us to God actively working in the world, it is a marvelous awareness. It is even more marvelous when we realize that God's activity is not only among us, but is about us and includes us.