January 7

Isaiah 43:1-3

“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.” vs. 1

The Israelites were feeling very alone. They’d been transported hundreds of miles from their homeland and were living as strangers in a foreign country. Many felt that their God had deserted them…and to them the prophet spoke powerful words of reassurance. Most importantly he told them not to be afraid…they were redeemed and had been called by name. Even in a strange land they remained the people of God. These words from 2500 years ago echo through the centuries and find a place in our hearts. For many they have become a reassuring reminder of baptism, the moment in time when we are welcomed as children of God and received as full members of the Body of Christ. The moment of our baptisms can often be obscured by the passage of time and forgotten. Life catches up with us and we’re consumed by the worries and challenges of everyday living. But our baptisms don’t go away…they’re the seal of the Holy Spirit and can never be erased, even by careless and thoughtless living. Even if we’ve wandered away from the church we always remain the precious redeemed children of God. We’ve been called by name…we belong! Again and again through our lives the whisper of God reaches our ears: “Do not be afraid. You are mine!” We can worry about a multitude of things…but we never need to wonder whose we are!

Thought for the Day: What name does God use for me?

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