John 20:11-18 (CEB)

11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ 18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.   

Isaiah43:1 (CEB)

1 But now, says the LORD— the one who created you, Jacob, the one who formed you, Israel: Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.   

DEVOTION – Bill Duckworth (Mississippi)

“My name is John Wesley Starnes, and I am a Methodist.”  I will always remember the day I met Mr. Starnes as he entered the Veterans Retirement Chapel.  Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he faithfully attended worship services for a couple of years until he became too confused.  I wondered, Does he even know who he is anymore?  One day I saw I saw Mr. Starnes in a hallway, and I greeted him, “Hey!  Your name is John Wesley Starnes!”  He rolled toward me in his wheelchair and with bright eyes and a big smile replied, “Thank you for remembering my name and who I am.”

Jesus knows the power in a name.  Upon hearing Jesus speak her name, Mary Magdalene immediately recognized him and went to tell the disciples of his resurrection.  After being asked three times by his savior if he loved him, Simon Peter went on to build the church.  (See John 21:15-19.)  Lazarus’ sister was set free from stress and anxiety with a simple, “Martha, Martha.”

I will always be thankful for Mr. Starnes who reminded me that Jesus knows our names, who we are, what we are going through, and that he will be with us all the way to the end.  I want to hear Jesus calling my name so that I may follow his will.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Jesus is calling my name.

PRAYER: Ever-living God, give us eards to hear, hearts that discern, and courage to obey your voice.  Amen.