Friday, April 28, 2017

God Knows Our Name

Hello, my name is______________. What a simple statement. But have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are unsure of what name to put in that blank? I have.

Until I began my second year of university I never hesitated to fill in that name blank. My name is Elaine. My family, friends and teachers had all called me that name. I filled out forms for the university that went to the professors. I did as instructed. Fill in your first, middle and last name and circle the name you go by. I wrote Carol Elaine Clark and circled Elaine. Yes I had always been known by my middle name. In our family, calling a child by their middle name appeared to be a tradition, since my father, both his sisters and their father were all known by their middle name.

In every class that year, no matter how much I tried to change it,  the professors insisted on addressing me as Carol  I finally gave up trying to change the professors and opted to answer to Carol. Secretly I had always liked that name better and for a year I could enjoy it. I did not think it mattered what people called me that year but I met my future husband in those classes. He learnt to know me by one name and my family knew me by another name. That fact has not changed even though more than forty years have passed.

On Easter Sunday, our pastor spoke about Mary Magdalene coming to the empty tomb. In John 20:10- 18 we read the account of Mary hearing the angels tell her that Jesus had risen just as he said he would. It also talks about her seeing Jesus but not recognising him until in verse 16 He simply says, "Mary". Her fear vanished as she recognised the One who knew her name.

I thought about Elijah as he hid in the cave in fear for his life. (I Kings 19). God met him there and called him by name. Elijah found encouragement when he listened to the still, small voice.

Saul, a zealous Pharisee, persecuted the Christians after Jesus death and resurrection until Jesus met him on the road to Damascus ( Acts 9) and called him by name. Saul's life changed after his encounter with Jesus and he told everyone about the need to believe in Jesus' death and resurrection as the only way to God.

God the Father and Son met people where they were and called them by name and their lives changed. Peace and encouragement replaced fear and sin.

Isaiah 43: 1
But now, this is what the Lord says - he who created you O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. 

God knows my name, my full name, so it does not
matter which one I choose to answer to. He knows your name too. I pray that like Mary at the empty tomb we will recognise His voice and know his peace and love.

Carol Elaine Harrison lives in Saskatoon, SK. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who loves spending time with her family. She also loves to tell stories shares from the heart, whether one to one or in various sizes of groups. She has published one book, Amee's Story and has short stories in a number of Chicken Soup for the Soul and other anthologies.

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Thanks Carol Elaine! :) I enjoyed your personal 'name story,' and I appreciate your timely Easter connection with Mary Magdalene and her recognition at our Lord's familiar calling her by name - "Mary." I shared a homily on that very same incident of Resurrection Morning in a retirement residence. And that was on Friday - the day you posted. You caused the afterglow to linger, for me. ~~+~~

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