I have what some might call an unusual name. Often, people assume Halcyon is my last name. In college, people I met assumed I was a foreign exchange student from Norway. People tend to ask me about the origin of my name and how to spell it.
Our names are an important part of who we are. Names are the way that people get our attention and address us. When someone uses your name, you feel seen.
Names are important in the Bible, too. God calls out to people by name. In the Gospels, Jesus calls by name even the people he seemingly shouldn’t have known by name.
We remember just how important names, including “child of God,” are in baptism when we are claimed and reminded that we belong to God. What a powerful, life-changing promise! The One who has the power to calm the sea, heal the sick, give sight to the blind and raise the dead is the same One who creates, protects and calls you by name.
This message is excerpted from “Called by name” by Halcyon Bjornstad in the December 2020 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Hans Nielsen Hague, renewer of the church, 1824.
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