In the passage that Mary and I just read, Jesus calls his disciples, “Little children.” And as we hear his admonition, since we too are his disciples, the designation is for us. In his teachings and actions, Jesus held a special place in his heart for children. Despite being rebuked by church leaders when women brought their young ones to be blessed, he proclaimed, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Children have an innocence and vibrant perspective that is often profound. We find delight in quips that come, “out of the mouth of babes.” Their insights and innocence can enlighten jaded hearts. My daughter’s pre-school teacher has a wonderful penchant for art and has the class regularly scribbling, sketching sculpting, and painting. Last week, as I admired some of the classroom art on display, I saw a quote tacked to the wall attributed to the great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. It reads: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
The genesis of this morning’s sermon is a conversation with a member of the congregation. For those accustomed to the order of the revised common lectionary, you will notice that our scripture passage is a departure. Normally, on this fourth Sunday of Easter, we hear a Gospel passage about Jesus as Shepherd. But God intervened. A recent conversation with a seven decade member of our congregation went something like this: “Roberto, I keep noticing in the Call to Worship, we say the word YHWH. What is that? No one has ever explained it to me in all of these years. I responded that, “YHWH is an Old Testament name for God?” This perplexed him, and he uttered, “no way.” To which I of course responded, “YHWH.” What we call God is important. God’s name, or names reveal something about God and about us. So this morning, we will take time to consider what YHWH and other names of God mean and what that means for our faith. But first, let us pray:
Palabra de Vida
You will find sermons preached by Rev. Robert Woodruff and guests preachers.