Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Devotion 3.30.16

We spend a lifetime searching for significance.  We find our significance in our daily lives mostly by status, what we have accomplished, and the influence, power, and wealth that may accompany that.  We may find our significance in our skills and our talents, yet we seem to never cease that desire to build our resume' or our vita (or our references).  It is almost a hunger.

Yet for Mary Magdalene, her significance rested in the Lord speaking her name, "Mary," to which she replied, Rabboni! (Teacher!)" (John 20:16)

The significance of our name should not be overstated, but it is important.  As a major tenet of our faith, we use the name in conjunction with our baptism as infants.  "How is this child to be named?" the pastor asks.  The name is given, and then in the act of baptizing, the pastor will say, "John Matthew Luke, I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," as he takes water from the font and pours it on the forehead.  The Holy Spirit writes the faith of John Matthew Luke on his heart at that moment through the power of the Word combined with water.  Faith, a gift from God and not an act of man.

We are presented publicly then and our name is used simultaneously with the receiving of faith.  Christ calls us into his kingdom through baptism.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer says this, "Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ.  It is costly because it costs a man his life (his earthly life), and it is grace because it gives a a man the only true life.  It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.  Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of His Son." (Costly Grace, Dietrich Bonhoeffer).  Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran minister, returned to war ravaged Germany before the war was over to minister to the people.  He was imprisoned, and he was executed just shy of the liberation of the prison.

Our significance is in Christ truthfully.  Christ calls us by name just as he called Mary Magdalene. She recognized him when she heard her name.  Christ calls us, "For we are his handiwork, created in advance in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)  Our name, in Christ, is our significance.  Our grace "calls us to follow Jesus Christ, and it is a costly grace."  When Christ calls our name, how do we respond?

Pray we hear Christ's call in our lives and respond, "Teacher!" and follow Him.

Hope Men's Ministry

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