Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 4th May 2023: I have called you by name

God Isaiah 43 Name Called

Reading : Verses from Isaiah, Chapter 43


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.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour...

Because you are precious in my sight,
and honoured, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you;

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


It is almost sixty years ago since I answered to the number V2841705, but it is as fresh in my mind today as it was then. My old WRAF number is ingrained in me. It's probably just as well since my Christian name has also presented me with problems. My mother, who knew her bible well, insisted I was 'Sharon' (as in 'Share-ron') with a long and not a short a. As she said, "It came from the bible". In fact it came from the Song of Solomon 2.1: "I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys" and refers not to a rose, but to a lily found in the fertile plain that runs between the mountains and the sea in north-west Israel. The word is pronounced with the emphasis on the "ron" bit of the name. However, I long gave up insisting on this pronunciation, although I did expect the various Bishops who licensed me to a variety of jobs over the years to get it right at the induction service.

For each of us our name is so very personal, whether we use our first or second name, or even a nickname. It conjures up our earliest memories when loved ones called us to come in for a meal, or said a last goodnight; it was whispered by those who loved us most to comfort us when we were sick; and it is still the name spoken by God to us in the secret place of our very being. When the Lord our God calls us by name we can cope with any adversity or challenge, for we are his beloved children, whom He loves.


Heavenly Father,
You called the Israelites by name,
to be Your children,
and even though they rebelled
and rejected You,
You honoured Your promise
to be their God.
We know that we too
disappoint You and turn away
from Your offer of salvation.
May we rejoice that You
call each one of us by name.
May we answer that call this day
and respond in loving trust.

Follow Up Thoughts

For those who wish to explore further, the following cartoon video looks at the Book of Isaiah as a whole, as well as chapters 40-66 (2nd Isaiah, also known as Deutero-Isaiah):

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