Naming the Baby
The right sermon title makes all the difference.

by Calvin Miller

I have some friends who waited five days after the birth of their third child to name her. She lay in her bassinet at the hospital with a Baby Smith bracelet, waiting for her parents to achieve some great "aha" moment. We friends, sympathizing with the poor baby, badgered them to name the waif. A grand sigh of relief went up on the fifth day when the name was at last announced. The child seemed suddenly a real person with real identity.

In times past, I have fallen in love with next Sunday's sermon as early as Monday. My enthusiasm for the coming homily was rampant. I sensed the Spirit moving all through my study. My preparation seemed imaginative and Spirit-driven.

But on Friday, by the time the bulletin went to press, Monday's infernal brainchild still did not have a name. Secretaries and office associates gathered around and badgered me to name the little pulpit waif, but alas, no name seemed ...

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