To Hear My Name

It’s that time of year when many of us focus on the Name. The Name of the Babe in the manger, the One named Jesus, “for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). The One to be called Immanuel, which means God with us (Matt. 1:23). The One Isaiah said would bear the name “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). The One, John sees in his vision, who will bear on His robe and on His thigh the name ” King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16). To quote that well known sentiment, “There’s something about that Name!”

Over the next couple of weeks, we will repeatedly speak that Name . . . we will sing of that Name . . . we will quiet ourselves before that Name . . . we will worship and praise that Name. O’ blessed Name above all names!

But will I hear Him speak my Name?

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, . . . she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to Him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”   (John 20:11a, 14-16 ESV)

Caused to pause, as I read again this morning of Mary Magdalene’s visit, on that first day of the week, to the tomb where they had laid Jesus. Of that encounter of the divine kind where she met again her risen Savior. Imaging what it was like for her to hear Jesus speak her name.

In her grief, she wasn’t expecting Him. In His resurrection glory, she didn’t recognize Him. But, hear Him speak her name . . . and she knew Him. The sheep hear the Good Shepherd’s voice . . . He calls His own by name and leads them out (John 10:2-3).

And I wonder if, in being so focused on being focused . . . if, in my desire to combat the distraction of this time of year in order to remember “the reason for the season” . . . if, in purposing in my heart to proclaim the wonder of His birth with my mouth . . . if, in all that, I shouldn’t take a bit of quiet time to hear Him as He speaks my name. If I shouldn’t make time to draw near to the risen Christ, and marvel anew that, in His steadfast love and infinite grace, He has determined to know my name.

If, as I was reminded in another reading this morning, in all my singing to Him, I shouldn’t pause to remember His singing over me.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.   (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

Not to make it about me. But to fuel the worship He is due . . . as I remember that I rejoice in His Name because He first called me by my name . . . that I so desire to sing of His Name because He first determined to exult with singing over me and my name . . . that I love Him, because He first loved me.

That I might, this Christmas season, hear my name as I lift up His . . . that I might wonder afresh at such amazing grace.

To Him be all glory . . .


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