Isaiah 43:1b – Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (NRSV)
On September 15, 1971, I was born. My parents named me Peter Christophor Carroll, a name chosen ten years before I came into the world. If I had been a girl, my name would have been Peatsa Christina. I was named after my mother's grandfather and my grandmother's favourite first cousin. Unless it's in a telephone call from a telemarketer, everyone calls me Pete — everyday, ordinary Pete.
Looking back on my youth, several instances come to mind with regard to someone "calling my name". When I was a kindergarten student playing in line at the water fountain, a teacher on duty, who didn't know me, called out, "You, you in the green shirt, stop that rough-housing. Get in line!" I don't know what she would have called me if another of my classmates had worn a green shirt that day. To her, I was the "naughty" boy in the green shirt.
When I played catcher on the baseball team in high school, Coach Hamilton would shout, "Hey, 24" Coach Ham knew my name, but in sports, sometimes you're known by your number. Guys are real attached to and proud of their numbers.
I've been called by a lot of names over the past thirty-three years. My dad called me "#4"; my grandma called me "Pedro"; my mother calls me lots of things; my wife calls me "Honey"; my son calls me "Dad". What about our Father? What does he call me? With God, I don't have to worry. There's no mistaking who I am.
Today's Scripture tells us that He knows each of our names — on that we can rest assured in times of sorrow, trouble, indecision, fear. God promised that we do not have to fear. He will be there; He will save us; He has called us by name; we are His. To God be the glory.
Prayer: You taught us to pray, Hallowed be Thy name. You are the Holy Father and we are Your creation. Thank You for giving us life and Your undivided care. Most of all, we thank You for the gift of Your Son, whose grace fulfilled Your promise. Make us worthy of that sacred gift. In Christ's holy name, we pray. Amen.