Lent Series

Known by Name


March 30, 2021

Known by Name

by Jan Kwiatkowski

Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The LORD called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me. —Isaiah 49:1

One of the first things we want to know when a new child enters a family is their name. When someone we know begins a new rela-tionship and it’s looking serious, we want to know their name. Children begin to understand the significance and power of naming when they are invited into the process of naming the family pet. Many of us have strong preferences for, and associations with, our names or nicknames.

Choosing, knowing, and sharing a name moves us from a position of distance from a person to a closer relationship with a particular someone we know by name.

In business or professional circles, being invited to call someone by their first name, rather than by their title, shifts the nature of the relationship. If naming and knowing a name has this much power in our human relation-ships, just how much more astonishingly amazing is it that God always has, and always will, know us by name? We are the “much-loved Child of God.” And, what’s most astounding and almost beyond comprehension is that God welcomes and longs for us to call God by name.

In our human frailty, even during those times when we stop calling on God, nothing we could ever do would cause our Creator to stop calling our name and longing for the sound of our response.

On this Tuesday in Holy Week, I invite you to pause for a few moments and open your heart to hear that you are a much-loved Child of God.

Making It Personal: How might you invite your heart to hear the reality that you are a much-loved Child of God? Reflect on the reality that God longs for the sound of our response. What is the name you call God? How did you come to know God by that name? 

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