From the Pastor’s Desk
The Imprints of Faith – Passing on the Faith – Every Adult Needs…
To be able to struggle with the language for God.
How important is it for a child to know their name? Our names give us our identities and connect us to our families and our communities. How more important is it to know God’s name? Maria Harris has said, “Names and meanings of God need to be appropriate, appropriate to God, and able to be appropriated by us and our children (p. 43).” There are many names for God given to us in the Bible. We may have our favorite name for God, but are we open to exploring other Biblical ways in which to address God? A favorite name for God is “Father,” or “Abba,” as Jesus uses – which means “Daddy.” Yet, that is not the only name for God in Scripture. Some call God Shepherd, Rock, Healer, Redeemer, Comforter, Creator, or Mother Hen.
There is a wide variety of names that we can explore with our children to understand the ways in which God can reach out to all of His children who may seem so different yet all are created in the image of God. Sometimes, depending on what we are experiencing in our daily lives, we may address God with a certain name or image. If we are struggling, it might help us to pray to God the Comforter. If we are seeking direction, maybe we call upon God the Shepherd to lead the way. If we are dealing with a lot of change in our lives, we pray to God the Rock who is our sure foundation.
Take a few minutes to think about the following and talk about them with your family:
What is your favorite name for God? Why? Do you know where it’s used in the Bible?
Ask a friend, grandparent, or church member what their favorite name for God is.
What is a new name for God that you want to try in your prayers?
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, in her children’s book In God’s Name, explores the different understandings and experiences behind the different names for God that allows us to grow into the mysteries of a God who has done everything for us.
The working list we are using is from a book entitled Making a Home For Faith: Nurturing the Spiritual Life of Your Children by Elizabeth F. Caldwell and is actually entitled “Every Parent Needs.” However, I think it can be said that it isn’t just parents that need these things, but all adults. All of us are a part of a faith community. All of us promise to support and pray for those who are newly baptized, but how often do we think of acting on those promises? What better way to be able to pass on the faith than to know what we are passing on!