St Mary Magdalene's, Dundee

The Lord's Prayer: call me God

Tom remembered his first day at school. Once they sat down behind their desks, the teacher asked them who they were. "What are your names?" he said. The first girl said she was called "Mandy"; the first boy said he was called "George" . The teacher ticked off their names in his book. So far, so good.

But the boy in front of Tom had a bit of a problem. Sunday School "I'm called Gregory," he said. "Gregory Gugg-gugg-gugg-enheim!" It was such a big name that even the boy himself got a bit mixed up. "Gregory Gugg-gugg-gugg-enheim!" Could he spell it? Of course he couldn't!

"Good heavens!" said the teacher, "why on earth did your parents give you such a difficult name?" "It's not my fault," said the boy. "My Dad's called Gregory — and so is my grandad; but my mother has a parrot called Gugg-gugg-gugg-enheim, and she thinks it is a wonderful name!" The teacher said: "I shall never remember how to spell it!" "And neither shall I," said Gregory.

The teacher moved on to Tom. "What a nice name!" he said. "So short and easy to remember." Tom was reminded that God also had a short name. Just three letters: G-O-D. How awful it would be if God was called Gugg-gugg-gugg-enheim! You might spend the whole afternoon trying to get it right. And who would want to be friends with someone called Guggenheim?

The teacher said that many people called God their Father. "He's not my father!" said Tom. "My dad's a lorry driver." "And he's not my father," said Gregory. "He's at home looking after Gugg-gugg-gugg-enheim!"

The teacher explained. God is everyone's Father. Yours as well as mine. He looks after us because we are all his children. We can talk to him and ask him for his help. Especially when we have to do exams — or have to face some nasty bully in the school playground. God our Father made this world — and all its plants and animals. Kangaroos and tortoises; butterflies and bison. And we can thank him for giving so many nice things to enjoy. And for having such a nice, short name: God — not Gugg-gugg-gugg-enheim!