But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
After rebuking the people for turning from God, the Prophet Isaiah utters these words to the people of Israel. They were words of comfort then; they are words of comfort now. The God of the Universe has called you, has called me by name and that is incredible.
Think about names. We all want people to remember our names. As a “newbie” in a new ministry setting, I am trying to learn names and eventually I will (but please forgive me as this takes time). But whether I remember your name or not, God does. God knows you and God knows what you can become.
Isn’t that incredible? The creator, sustainer and redeemer of the very universe knows you personally. If you are feeling alone right now, know that God knows you by name. If you are hurting, know that God knows you by name. If you are in need, God knows you by name.
The Start of Something New
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:13
It was a very busy day as we arrived at the church building. We went to the office where I picked up everything I needed, then went to the sanctuary. As we greeted folks, I reviewed the service and prepared myself. It was my first day in the pulpit at the new ministry.
While the service flow was different and I was unsure of who did what, it felt comfortable. I am, after all, a preacher and stepping into a pulpit is as normal for me as it is for a quarterback to line up behind the center or an actor stepping onto the stage. Between services was a reception and I will admit, I did not get everyone’s names (that will take some time).
But what I did get was an eagerness to move forward, to do something new. This congregation wants to embrace whatever new God is calling us to do. Change can be scary (trust me, I know, I’m in the middle of a huge transition) but God is always doing a new thing with us and with God we need not fear change.
Trust in God, especially in transitional times and God will always provide.