Fourth Sunday of Easter
I was blessed to grow up in a neighborhood with many children my age and plenty to keep us busy playing outside. We had woods nearby that led to a creek that flowed into a mighty river. There were farm fields to wander and railroad tracks nearby to walk as we looked for treasures. We were free to roam about all day, but there was a strict rule that we had to be home in time for supper. Often our parents would call out or whistle from the back porch to let us know supper was ready.
One of my best friends, Don, lived across the street. His name sounds like mine, John—especially when you are busy playing and your mothers are calling you to supper. So in order to buy ourselves a little more time to play, Don and I had this brilliant plan. If his mom called, he would say he thought he heard John, and if my mom called, I would say I thought I heard Don. Well, I don’t think our plan ever really worked. Actually, even though I couldn’t be sure whose name I heard, I still knew—in fact I was certain—that it was my mother’s voice calling me to come home.
We live in a world filled with noises and influences that can overwhelm us and distract us from our faith. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). But how many times do we pretend not to hear or cannot hear because of our worldly concerns? The good news is that Jesus is still calling. We belong to Jesus and always will, by the gift of eternal life through him. This is our hope and our joy, that even in the midst of all the noise and distraction, Jesus still claims us as God’s own, and calls us by name to come home.
John Fritts, pastor, Covenant Moravian Church