43 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my sight,
and honored, and I love you,
I give people in return for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you;
6 I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
and to the south, “Do not withhold;
bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from the end of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
When we pick Enoch up from Pinckney Elementary we are to hold this orange sign. We got this sign, Daniel Jester, at meet the teacher before school started. Thankfully, Enoch took it in good fun and they sent this new one home on Thursday. He even started calling himself Dan during specials i.e. music, art, and drama. He’s clearly embracing his new school and having a little fun too. Is he a Dan or is he an Enoch? Those identity questions are important for all of us. Who am I? How do I relate in the world? What am I good at? Will the teacher call on me? Will I be picked last for kickball?
Isaiah is reassuring the Israelites. You are children of the Most High. You were created, formed, and redeemed and I, the Great God of the Universe have called you by name. Who are we, that the Lord of hosts takes notice of us? We are God’s beloved children and we can do nothing on earth to separate us from God’s love!
Enoch loves to take pictures and video on my phone. When I was deleting off the pictures, I found this gem. Facebook reminded me this morning that I shared this two years ago. It was before he went to bed, he’s talking about living with his mom, dad and sister and he’s praying for his teacher at the time, Ms. Wilkerson. Then he says, “My name is Enoch. My name is Daniel Enoch Jeter. It’s in the Bible. I stand for God.” I’m going to show it to him tonight to remind of who he is and Whose he is.
A friend shared this truth by Richard Rohr, “Life is not a matter of creating a special name for ourselves, but of uncovering the name we have always had.” May we all do the hard work of uncovering, shedding, excavating because the highest praise we can give ourselves is to claim and know that we are children of God. Nothing more, certainly not, nothing less. As I daily walk the road of mommy, pastor, wife, daughter, sister, and all my other roles, I need a constant reminder of the grace that covers everything. When I fail, when I don’t get that last i dotted, when I think I’m not enough, I need to rest in God’s love for me. That’s where my help comes from. That’s where our kids’ help comes from. That’s where we place our trust and we live, move and be in that merciful love. I love this verse from Micah 6:8. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” We should all seek to do just that and wait and watch the world transform!