The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Jesus knows your name. He never has to say, “Hey, you.” He never says, “Hi.” He always says, “Hi, John.” “Hi, Tom.” “Hi, Steve.” “Hi, Dean.” “Hi, Carol.” Jesus never drops his eyes to the floor and walks to the other side of the hall.
Knowing a person’s name is like crossing an ocean into his world. Knowing a name opens us to the miracle of fellowship. Nameless greetings are cordial but they are not the stuff families are made of. No one introduces his brother as “what’s-his-name.”
Never hearing your own name is extraordinarily depersonalizing. Sometimes husbands and wives depersonalize each other by not using each other’s names. They just start talking. Whatever the reason, there is a megaton of difference between, “I love you,” and “I love you, Noël.”
If this makes sense to you, then please make every effort to get your picture in the new church directory that Olan Mills is doing for us. There are over 850 members at Bethlehem and we simply can’t call each other by name unless we have some pictures to help us. (This directory costs the church nothing and only costs you if you buy some prints).
If you believe the use of names transforms a society into a family, you will want to help us make the new directory as complete as possible. I promise to learn every name pictured in the book.
Appointments with the photographers can be made Sunday mornings and evenings outside the church office. The dates and times available at the church are Dec. 6, 7, 8, 15 and 16 from 3:30-9:20, and Dec. 17 from 10:00-11:50 a.m. and 1:00-5:50 p.m. Special arrangements will be made with those who cannot get out to the church.
Don’t put it off. Sign up soon. It will make a beautiful difference at Bethlehem if we get 100% Participation!
John Stephen Piper