January 14, 2022
1 But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honoured in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
We started our week on Sunday with the baptism of Jesus; seeing our place and identity in Jesus’ baptism as well as in our own. We started Monday with Isaiah 42, living out of our identity. Now we get to Isaiah 43 and see that God deals with us in the identity he has placed on us, not the one that we created for ourselves. He sees us as forgiven and righteous, not any longer as the guilty ones that we are. Our life is in his name as he has given us a new name. Calling us, and our children, as his.
This passage in Isaiah is one of the great pieces of comfort in the life of Israel. Knowing that exile comes because of their sin, yet forgiveness and life come to them and to their children after them, because God is faithful and merciful. God will bring our children from all over the earth and call them as his own. God not only knows us, giving us a new name, he knows our children and gives them this name as well. The name we saw yesterday from Peter and Hosea, we are loved, we are God’s people.
We end our week in praise of God for his grace to us, for his grace to many more beyond our small circles of people. We praise our God for calling us by name to be his. We praise our God that he calls many beyond us and after us also to be his people and to carry his name. The promise of God shows that his church will be forever. God will call many more after us. God will lead his people through many others who may not even know they are called by his name yet.
Let’s give praise to our God who calls us and prepare ourselves to hear his invitation to live as his people. Let’s praise our God who has redeemed us long before we were ready to follow. Let’s offer thanks and praise to the God who is always faithful and more gracious than we could ever comprehend. Praise our God today and always.
Song – You Know My Name
We thank you, O God, for our baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection. In the beginning your Spirit moved over the waters. . . . In the time of Noah, you destroyed evil in the water of the flood, and by your saving ark you gave a new beginning. In the night of trouble you led Israel through the sea. . . . In the water of the Jordan, our Lord was baptized. . . . In the baptism of Christ’s death and resurrection, you have set us free from sin and death and opened up the way to eternal life.
May Christ, who sank deep into death and was raised Lord of life, keep us and our little ones in the grip of his hand. May your Spirit separate us from sin and mark us with a faith that can stand the light of day and endure the dark of night. To you be all honor and glory, dominion and power, now and forever, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.