By: Dan Martin, Senior Pastor
I had a great-aunt who lived next door. When I would bring a new friend home she would call us to her presence on the front porch or in her front sitting room where she would immediately ask my new friend, “Who are you?” Her question was not as rude as it may at first appear for she was only trying to know who their family was and where they had come from. Identity to her was important and allowed her to have a bridge into their identity not only by name but also by family.
Throughout the Holy Bible names are important. Isaac has the name of “laughter” having been born of an elderly woman. Jacob, the “grabber,” became Israel, “he that walks with God.” John the Baptist became known with an action verb by a name self-imposed as “the one crying in the wilderness.” Our names are declared as a name known by God at our Baptism. We become known to God and to God’s people with a name that means something. Our very name becomes a witness to the grace of God as we move from having just a name to a place of having a name known and blessed by God.
When Moses became the bearer of the Ten Commandments he inquired as to the name of God that he might be able to tell the people from where the Commandments had come. The Lord instructed that “I Am who I Am” as YHWH would be the name. God knew that a true name would have given added and undeserved power to the created. We do not know God’s name…but we know God…in the incarnate Son by the name of Jesus, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.
God knows your name and God knows you. You are a Child of God, called with an action verb purpose, sacramentally consecrated at the hand of God, fully entrusted to the merciful grace of a Savior who is fully known. In Jesus, we fully know God, and through Baptism, God fully knows us.
God, fully know us and reveal your purpose to us. Hear our prayers, lead us into discipleship, call our name frequently, and teach us the full saving grace of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen