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Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, April 2

When Abram was 99 years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless and I will make my covenant between me and you, will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face; God said to him, “Behold my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham.”
—Genesis 17: 1-4

For many families around the world, Easter Sunday is both a celebration of Christ’s resurrection and a time to baptize new Christians. As we place water upon the foreheads of children and adults, we mark them as Christ’s own forever, naming them in the congregation of faithful as Christ’s children.

Yet we have forgotten what naming has to do with baptism. We don’t often remember what it means to be named by God, to have our names declared a part of who we are and whose we are in the family of God’s great promise. If we could reclaim our name as evidence of God’s promise, then with Abraham and Sarah’s descendants, we would begin to see the gift of our lives in the context of the whole narrative of God’s redemption.

Have you thought of these things for your name? Is your name only a by-product of your immediate family or could your name be something more? Your name is evidence of God’s love for you.

God’s grace and mercy come in the waters of life. Reclaim the gift of your name, and if you are witness to baptisms this Easter, hear the names as a part of your family. More importantly, hear your name as a part of theirs. Reclaiming your name in the family of God may become a pathway back toward God’s covenant in your life.

God, you love me more than I can imagine and have called me by name from the foundations of the earth. Open my eyes to the fullness of my family, that trusting in your promise, I may know your faithfulness from day to day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.