15/02/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
One of my favorite TV sitcoms of all time was “Cheers” starring Ted Danson and Shelley Long. It ran for 11 seasons during the 1980’s and 1990’s. It was a bar frequented by the usual people and touted in the introduction theme song as a place where, “Everybody knows your name.”
One cast member was particularly funny in his entrance. “Norm Peterson,” played by George Wendt, would enter the bar and everyone there would yell, “NORM!” The bar owner, Sam Malone would pose a question to Norm as he entered, to which Norm would always have some quick retort, such as, “Whatcha up to Norm?” Norm replied, “My ideal weight if I were eleven feet tall!” You never knew what would come out of Norm’s mouth.
I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks in the Boston area several years ago. One of my must visit places was of course Cheers bar in downtown Boston, just off of the Commons. My friend and I walked in, but the place didn’t look like the TV set (as if I really thought it would). On top of that, not a single person yelled, “Doug!” Frankly I would have been startled if someone did just that.
Even though “Cheers” in the sitcom was a fictious place, did you know there is a place where your name is called every time you enter? No, I’m not kidding. There is actually a place when you enter therein, your name is called. That place is the presence of God.
Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people, warning them about the corruption of the Pharisees and lawyers. He warned the people of their wickedness and how they appeared one way in public and yet another in private. He said they were like unmarked graves over which people would walk and yet not notice them. At this the Pharisees became very hostile toward Jesus to the point His followers feared them. Jesus reassured them saying, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” He went on to comfort each of them saying they were the most important creation to God. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (NRSV)
God knitted each of us together in the womb. He who created us knows us, so intimately He knows the very number of hairs on our heads! He recognizes us by our voice and by our face! So, the next time you enter into the presence of God, know that He is saying welcome and calling you closer by calling you by your own name!