Although the name “Tim” is common in the English language, it catches my attention the moment I hear anyone say it, even if they are not talking to me. You probably do the same when you hear your own name. In the June 12, 2018, “Our Daily Bread” devotional, Amy Boucher Pye wrote about how advertisers in Great Britain recognized the potential of using a person’s name and started placing personal names in advertisements to increase sales.
I enjoyed a special dinner with my daughter, Cassie, and son-in-law, Tony, last Thursday night. Earlier that day they learned the baby my daughter is carrying is a boy and were eager to share this exciting news with their parents. We are beyond thrilled to welcome their baby boy into our family. Over dinner the expectant parents explained they have not yet picked out their new baby’s name but are compiling a list of potential ones. They are focused on their new son’s name because our name is an important part of who we are throughout our life.
I anticipate the first time I hold my grandson I will affectionately call him by his own name. What an amazing moment that will be for both him and me.
In stark contrast, if streaming services perfect technology to inject our names into advertisements, it will be more personal, but ironically, the focus will not be on us, but merely on increased sales.
Amy Boucher Pye reminded her readers of how Mary Magdalene did not immediately recognize the resurrected Jesus until she heard him say her name in John 20:15-16. When the risen Savior said her name, Mary immediately knew the one speaking to her was Jesus.
I love to read how he called Mary by name, but it will be even more wonderful when God calls us, his followers, by our names. The prophet Isaiah describes it this way, “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.’” (Isaiah 43:1, NLT, emphasis mine)
Just over four months ago, many members of my family gathered in my dying brother’s room to say goodbye. We lovingly said Jerry’s name repeatedly over the course of that long emotional day. But I am convinced the most meaningful use of my brother’s name that day was when he heard his heavenly father say, “Jerry, you are mine, welcome home!”
I anticipate the day when I will get to call my new grandson by his name. However, I think the most special use of my name will be the day I enter the presence of God at the end of my life and hear him call me by name for the very first time.