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April 16, 2021 • Life for Leaders

Scripture – John 20:16 (NRSV)

“Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means [my] Teacher).”

Focus

I don’t know about you, but this year I experienced resurrection in a drastically different way than any year prior. I did not need a fast and furious Jesus rising from the dead. I needed a slow and steady voice in the dark clearly saying my name.

Devotion

A real resurrection is made up of slow revelations. I feel led to return to the tomb. Have you ever returned to a room only to forget why you came in the first place? Did you forget what you were looking for? If you’re like me, I have to retrace my steps from whence I came to jolt my memory! So it is with resurrection. I don’t know about you, but this year I experienced resurrection in a drastically different way than any year prior. I did not need a fast and furious Jesus rising from the dead. I needed a slow and steady voice in the dark clearly saying my name.

¡María!

The power of the second tomb. You see, if you slow down in your reading, Mary did not see Jesus until she returned a second time to the tomb, alongside Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved. After Peter and the other disciple went back home, she sat outside of the tomb weeping. The angels ask her why was she weeping. Then Jesus asks her why was she weeping and whom was she seeking? It’s dark. She’s ugly crying. It’s hard to recognize Jesus in the dark through your mascara running down with your tears, especially if you aren’t expecting to find life in a dead situation.

And yet… when someone calls you by name, your own name pulls you out of the darkness! The one who sees you and says your name has the power to call you out and call you in! She knows that voice that must have thundered through her body and down her soul. Her body remembered the deliverance. Her ears remembered what his voice sounded like calling her name. Ah yes: redeemed.

Don’t be afraid nor hesitate to return to the tomb again to remember your name. The one who knows your name, knows your story is the one who calls your name to give you your calling and continue unfolding your story. Don’t underestimate slow resurrections made up of small revelations. Jesus is still in the business of turning tomb moments into testifying moments. Weeping moments into witnessing moments. This is the power of the second tomb.

Reflect

Think about your name: What is your relationship to yourself at this moment? What do you like most about yourself?

Act

Write down 5 positive affirmations about you at this moment. Speak to yourself with light words and life-giving words.

Pray

Jesus, you who know us by name, you who know the very hairs on our head, the wrinkles around our smiles, the fears, doubts, anxiety, pain: call us by name today. Speak to us in that voice that is familiar and recognizable, the name that quickly draws us in, for to be named is to be known. Say our names so we can see you in the dark. See us with your eyes that we can see ourselves for who we really are: seen, known, named, loved. Oh Jesus, you’re still doing the slow work of the gardener of our souls, turning graves into gardens. Amen.


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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. An article on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Women Make Jesus’ Work Possible (Luke 4:14-19)


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3 thoughts on “Named

  1. Jim Graham says:

    Deep feelings conveyed with marvelously crafted prose; thank you. And yes, the power of speaking or hearing one’s name!

  2. DiAnne says:

    Both Marys were told by the angel who had rolled away the stone that Jesus had risen and to go to the disciples and tell them that he would be going before them into Galilee.

    Then it says they departed quickly from the tomb and on their way Jesus met them and also told them to let the brethren know he would be going to Galilee.

    So they were the first to see the risen Lord (Matthew 28: 5-10)

  3. Margie Tomlinson says:

    Wonderful and timely. “the God who sees me” knows my name. Gen. 16:13a

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