Tag Archives: name

I Know Your Name

When I go to the hospital or another formal setting, they always call be by my full name, or Mrs Webster; those who know me well will call me Pam.  What somebody calls you is often a give away of how much they know you or the kind of relationship you have; whether someone knows you and your name, or are just reading it from a piece of paper.  Someone taking the trouble to know, and remember, your name is powerful and meaningful. I always feel much more predisposed to someone who has taken the trouble to do that.

God knows Cyrus‘ name, and uses it as he calls him.

Isaiah 45:1-7 (CEV)

Cyrus Obeys the Lord’s Commands

45 The Lord said to Cyrus, his chosen one:

I have taken hold
    of your right hand
to help you capture nations
    and remove kings from power.
City gates will open for you;
    not one will stay closed.
As I lead you,
    I will level mountains
and break the iron bars
    on bronze gates of cities.

I will give you treasures
hidden in dark
    and secret places.
Then you will know that I,
the Lord God of Israel,
    have called you by name.
Cyrus, you don’t even know me!
But I have called you by name
    and highly honored you
because of Israel,
    my chosen servant.

Only I am the Lord!
    There are no other gods.
I have made you strong,
    though you don’t know me.
Now everyone from east to west
will learn that I am the Lord.
    No other gods are real.
I create light and darkness,
happiness and sorrow.
    I, the Lord, do all of this.

Cyrus didn’t know God, but that didn’t stop God knowing him and calling to him. God is going to do great things, through Cyrus, for his people, but it all begins with God knowing him and calling him.

I believe this is not just for Cyrus.  It is for us all.  This is a personal God, who hasn’t just heard of us, but knows about us.  He knows our name, the one we call ourselves, and uses it.  God knows us, intimately; cares about us; loves us; and calls us.  He has something for each one of us to do.  Whoever we are, wherever we are coming from, God calls to each one of us, by our name, and leads us on to the task he has for us.

Our job may not, or may, be as big as rescuing a whole nation, but it is what God is asking of us.  As he calls us, he equips us for it, and leads us.

I am precious to God.  He knows me, calls me and leads me.

You are precious to him too, and he calls and leads you.

Thank you Lord,
that you have not just heard about me,
but know my name.
You know
what I am truly capable of,
and you have a task,
just for me,
that you call me to.

As I hear your call,
may I hear
and respond
to what you ask of me,
not in my strength,
but yours

All in the Name – Christmas Season Day 1

The story goes, that I was going to be called Theresa.  I can’t remember how or why now, but anyway by the time my dad got to the Registry Office to register my birth, I had become Pamela. (Which no one ever dares call me anyway!)

I’m not sure my life would have been any different if I’d been called Theresa. I’m sure I’d still be the same person, with the same gifts and foibles.

Yet some people’s names tell stories, perhaps a family name, or a name chosen for a particular meaning.  In the bible many of the people’s names had meanings. I think especially of Hosea whose children were given the most extraordinary names.  ‘Unloved’ and ‘Not-my-people’ (Hosea 1:2-9) were never names high on the list for our children – and I can imagine those names might have had quite an impact on their lives.

And so today, on Christmas Eve, we turn to the Christmas Readings in the book.

from Wordle.net
from Wordle.net

And we consider the name of Jesus. Jesus was given his name by the angel, as he told Mary of his expected arrival

An Angel Tells about the Birth of Jesus

26 One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee 27 with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. 28 The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. 30 Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, 31 and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. 33 He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

Jesus name was packed with meaning. It had all the hopes of Israel bundled into it.  It meant that God was here, as he promised.  Here to save the world.  Here to live in the world.  Here to show us God’s ways.  Here to save us from our ways.


I thank you for coming to earth,

coming to fulfil your promises,

coming to show us the depth of your love,

coming to show us your way of living.

Thank you

that you know me

and love me

– not just my name,

but all of me.

Thank you for thinking I am precious.

For as I pray,

may I seek to live,


and through

your name

This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen.   You’re welcome to join us on this journey.  Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub

Also blogging on the #adventbookclub are:






Known and loved

This weeks Old Testament passage is one of the most beautiful in the Bible, so I’m going to quote it in full:

God Promises to Rescue his People

Isaiah 43:1-7

Israel, the Lord who created you says,
“Do not be afraid — I will save you.
I have called you by name — you are mine.
When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burnt;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the holy God of Israel, who saves you.
I will give up Egypt to set you free;
I will give up Ethiopia and Seba.
I will give up whole nations to save your life,
because you are precious to me
and because I love you and give you honour.
Do not be afraid — I am with you!

“From the distant east and the farthest west,
I will bring your people home.
I will tell the north to let them go
and the south not to hold them back.
Let my people return from distant lands,
from every part of the world.
They are my own people,
and I created them to bring me glory.”
© 1994 British & Foreign Bible Society


Names are very important to us.  We spend a long time thinking what we are going to call a baby; knowing someone’s name shows a certain level of relationship; remembering someone’s name shows you care; getting someone’s name wrong is quite a faux-pas.

God knows us by name, and he cares for us.  We are indeed his.  He knows not just our name, but everything about us.  He loves us, we are precious to him.  And because of that he is always with us, in whatever circumstances our lives take us.

Perhaps one of the most important things about these verses is that they don’t say, “God loves you, so life will be hunky-dory”. It acknowledges that there will be deep waters, troubles, fire and hard trials – but in all that God is with us.

This passage was written at a time when Jerusalem had been destroyed and many of the people were in exile – so they knew what they were talking about – but still lived in faith and hope of the God who loved them.

God doesn’t abandon us when life is tough – he travels with us.  However deep the water, God’s love is deeper.   We are never alone, God is with us.  We can cling to him, for he will never fail us.  We are precious to God and he loves us.  Simplistic – maybe – but profound and true.

So, wherever you are and whatever you are going through, know God’s love, care and support for you this day, in your situation.  Let him hold tight.  Rest secure in his love and his presence and feel his peace.