A newspaper survey recently found that people have a tendency to give names to their smart phones and cars. As I understand, this must come from having smart phones with voices that response to their owners. I don’t have a smart phone so I haven’t made a name for any phones yet. However, I have given names to my cars such as Grace, Little Foot, Maxie, and Dove. And yes, I talk to my car daily.
A phrase from last Sunday’s sermon comes to mind, ” the good shepherd knows the sheep and calls their names.” Have you had any experience where you had to memorize many people’s names as quickly as possible? I have. I had to memorize the names of 40 choir members within 30 minutes. I did it. One tip given to choir conductors is to memorize choir members’ names and always call them by name. Knowing someone’s name and calling them by name is important because it opens the way to a deeper and more personalized relationship. I have thought about the other way around, when we call God by name. He knows each of us and calls us by name, just like the good shepherd, but how about us? This also reminds me of a phrase in last Sunday’s anthem, “When I’m a calling ‘Lord, Lord’ I won’t be calling in vain. When the waters of trouble are rising up, I’m calling Your name!” I have asked myself how often do I call His name not only to get help but also to have a deeper personal relationship?
People in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday loudly called out the name of Jesus, “Hosanna, Blessed is the King of Israel!” when Jesus entered the city on a little donkey. They called Jesus the King who they thought would deliver them from the politics of the day. Sadly, their calling turned into mocking Jesus who was crucified soon thereafter.
We will have the experience this Palm Sunday from calling, “Hosanna, blessed is the King of Israel” to hearing, “Crucify Him” during Passion Week. I pray that we can all cry out for His mercy and grace to be upon us particularly throughout the Passion Week.
As I have shared before, on Good Friday the choir and orchestra with guest soloists will share the Seven Last Words of Christ at 7:30PM. We truly pray that we can humble ourselves as we hear Jesus’ words on the cross.