What’s in a Name?

March 25, 2008

“…Jesus said to her, ‘Mary’…” (John 20:16)

I have a confession to make: I am poor when it comes to recalling names.

This is quite a challenge for a preacher like me who speaks before hundreds and even thousands of people on a daily basis. Difficult as it is to recall names, some of those in the audience would even test you.

One time, I was speaking in a province when after my talk, somebody approached me to ask if I remember her from some conference where I spoke some years ago at some place in the Philippines. Wow! Can you imagine my panic as I tried to dig deep into my memory bank to remember who this woman was.

“Sister, ” I said, (A dead give away. Referring to someone as “sister” is the best most indirect way of saying that you have no inkling who she is…) “That conference was in…sometime in…you were with…” And it was downhill from thereon.

She smirked, walked away grudgingly obviously hurt that I don’t remember her.

What’s so important about names, anyway?

Well, names are more than a couple of letters lump together. Your name speak so much of who you are: your personality, your character, your values, your dreams, your aspirations, and your worth. Remembering a person’s name tells the latter that he is important to you. That he is valuable. That he is special. That he is not just a face in the crowd. That he is worth recalling. That he has impressed you enough for you to remember him.

When Jesus uttered Mary’s name at the tomb, Mary realized her worth before God.

“…Jesus said to her, ‘Mary’…” (John 20:16)

The mere mention of her name assured her of how much she was forgiven and loved by her Master. The mere mention of her name transformed Mary on the spot. From the grieving woman, to the gleeful one. From the desperate disciple to the determined one. For some reason, she found the courage that day to rise up again and hope.

Friend, Jesus knows your name. In fact, everyday, he utters it with keen fondness. In knowing your name, he is in effect assuring you that you are special, valuable and worthy of his love and attention.  That he is aware of your pains. Your disappointments. Your unfulfilled dreams. Your deepest aspirations.

Today, come to Him. Open your life before Him . Tell Him of your worst pains, and wildest dreams. Let Him assure you of how deserving you are of his undivided attention. Go to a quiet place and find solace in the silence.

Shhh, can you hear it? Listen to your heart. A loving voice is calling your name.

Have a blessed week!

I remain, your friend in Christ,

Bobby Q. 

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