Easter 4 :: Called by name

Going home

I can still recall her voice echoing through the years: “Paul! Paul Gill! Paul Gill Rider, you come home right now!” It didn’t help that I was three blocks away and her voice carried like a tornado siren. Nor did it help that I was a nascent teenager, easily embarrassed by such a display of maternal vocal power! But, I knew her voice and I came dutifully—if not reluctantly—home.

Actually, there is something quite reassuring about hearing a familiar voice calling out your name. Though I wouldn’t have thought much of it back then, hearing my mother’s voice meant I belonged, that I had a home to live in and a family who loved me. 

Though I do not really like the image used in scripture of the followers of Christ portrayed as sheep, I can easily understand and relate to the response of the sheep hearing the shepherd’s voice. Sheep tend to wander far afield in search of fresh pasture. Oftentimes, this can bring them to danger from predators, unfamiliar ground, and dangerous precipices. The ever-watchful shepherd is keen to such ovine distraction and calls out when danger is afoot. I would imagine that it is especially comforting [in a sheep-sort-of-way] for the sheep to hear that familiar call if it is lost. It’s as if the voice is saying, “Here I am! Over this way! Come on!” How often it is that I need to hear the voice of God calling out to me in such a way.

It means I belong.

Something to Ponder:

Do you hear the Good Shepherd calling your name?


Link to RCL Lectionary for Easter 4

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