Pastor’s Corner

Jesus Calling Our Name

We’re halfway through the season of Lent. We’ve entered the difficult part of the story. Jesus has turned toward Jerusalem and we are asked to follow. Where are we headed? What are we looking forward to?

On the first day of the week, outside Jesus’s tomb, Mary Magdalene stands weeping. It’s the sound of one word – her own name – that moves Mary to believe and transports her into joyous worship.

Long after they are gone, we can still recognize the sound of the voices of the loved ones who knew us best. We remember how they spoke our name.

We remember the nicknames they used for us. My Aunt Alice called me “Wilhelm.” My Pop-pop spoke in a raspy voice, almost a deep whisper, with Ireland still in it. My mother’s voice called me home at the end of the day. On the telephone I could hear Philadelphia in her voice. My father’s voice sounded most like my own. “Bill!”

Jesus simply exclaims, “Mary!” and the sound of Jesus’ voice travels deep inside. Jesus makes himself known to Mary in the space most sacred to her, her name “space” – a place of deep recognition. Mary cannot mistake the sound of his voice.

It may be a long time since we have heard Jesus call our name. We may not even think we remember what his voice sounds like. But when we hear our risen Lord pronounce our name, we resonate with recognition and joy. One word is all it takes – our name. One word calms us and grounds us. Our name, spoken by a familiar voice, connects with the depths of who we are.

This Easter we are invited to hear our risen Lord pronounce our name. And then, may we feel empowered to live our lives sharing the good news that Christ is alive and at work in the world.

Pastor Bill