Thursday, February 2, 2017

Name Calling

How many times a day do we hear someone using our name in their conversations with us?   Try an experiment today.  Count the number of times you hear your name.  No doubt we heard it many times a day when we were growing up at home.  Our parents were constantly using it to separate us from the herd.  But, later it life, it seems different.  Sometimes not even those intimate others in our life use our name.  We can spend a day with friends and never hear it.  We often come to a place where we miss hearing it.  And, when someone does use our name, it really gets our attention.  Our name is important to us.  It is good to hear it.
In the garden of the empty tomb, we hear Jesus speaking to a bewildered woman, "Mary!"  (John 20:16)  Upon hearing Jesus speak her name, the confusion of the moment was gone.  She immediately knew Him.    In another very familiar story, we hear Jesus saying to a woman too busy with the details of getting ready for Him, "Martha, Martha,..."  (Luke 10:41)  And, of course, there is that story of Jesus standing outside a tomb and crying out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" (John 11:43)  And, he did.  Some say had Jesus not called out the name of Lazarus, all the dead would have come out on His command!  What a sight that would have been!  Calling the name carries with a note of intimacy; it communicates attention; it is a declaration of knowing.

Jesus knows the name of each one of us.  In one place He speaks of those who love Him as His friends.  Friends know names.  Jesus knows you and He knows me.  While most of us are not as disciplined as we need to be to hear Him speaking to us, if we are we should surely not be surprised to hear our own name being sounded in the inner part of our being where we hear the divine voice.  Learn to listen.  It is worth the investment of whatever time it takes.  Imagine Jesus speaking to us and imagine Him speaking our name.   Listen.  Listen.  Keep listening.  Be assured He is speaking.

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