Why We Call on God – in preparation for Sunday, Nov.26
Read: Malachi 4:1–2
; Luke 1:78–79Reflect
What do you usually do when you are trying to get someone’s attention? Do you clap your hands? Stomp your feet? Stand on your head? You might do some of those things if you are being silly or if the person is already nearby, but the easiest way to get someone’s attention is by calling their name!
I bet your family members at some point have used that same technique to get your attention. Can you think of a time when you were in a crowded area with lots of noise when all of a sudden you heard your name? Your name rises above all of the background clamor. Or maybe someone calls you by your full name when you are in trouble. Hearing your name in that context communicates how serious something is. Or maybe someone you love has a nickname for you. Hearing that name communicates the closeness and affection you share. Sometimes the name we use for someone says something about them and about how we are feeling about them.
Names are important. God has a lot of different names in the Bible. When we think about God’s names and use the different names to get God’s attention, we communicate something true about God and our relationship to God. The focus of our Advent services this year is a song that gives us a very important name for Jesus: “Emmanuel.” This name means “God with us.” When we call on God using the name “Emmanuel,” we are thinking about how God is near us. During Advent we are going to be thinking about some of the other names for God that can be found in the Advent song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” When you listen to the pastor talk about these names, try to think about what it says about God when you call God by those names in your prayers.
—Adapted: Bethany Besteman, 2023 © Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike