As a mom, many times I was called Sarah’s mom or LeAnn’s mom. I really didn’t mind and I still don’t mind being associated with my daughters. Still, it is nice to be called by your name and not a title. It’s also nice to call someone by name and be able to introduce people to one another by name. I really feel bad when I don’t remember someone’s name or think I should know it but the name will not come to mind. Names are so important, and I am so glad God helps me to remember as many names as I do. I know I couldn’t do it without him. Remembering new names takes me a while and I most always need to be reminded a couple of times before names stick in my brain. That is why name tags are so helpful at church. We can more easily remember others’ names by putting a name and a face together when we only see a name printed somewhere. God calls us each by name, so I feel it’s so important to do the same.
God called many into doing the work he had for them, some of them he even changed their name like Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter and Saul to Paul. Names are a big thing with God. Isaiah 43:1 says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; and called you by name, you are mine.” Names connect us to one another. I know I feel a greater connection with someone when I know their name. When we call each other by name, it makes it so much easier to get to know someone.
Isn’t it nice to be called by your name? I know some of us have been called by the wrong name. I think we all have. Sometimes we correct them, sometimes we just let it slide, and some people get really upset if you don’t call them by the right name. But most of us feel good when someone does remember our name and calls us by name. In the third letter of John it says, “Greet the friends there, each by name.” Would it not be nice during the sharing the peace to greet each other by name, saying “Peace be with you, Mary”, or “God’s peace, Richard.” Then we won’t have to be scared to get out of our pew and greet others across the aisle or a few rows back, because we can read their names and greet them properly.
I want to thank each of you who so graciously made your name tags this last month and Diane and Gary, who will be my helpers putting the name tags in alphabetical order in the cabinet. My hope is as we begin to call each other by name, we will be reminded that God has called each of us by name and that we are redeemed and loved.