Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Special thanks to Peggy Graff and her guests for providing this uplifting and inspiring addition to us in her Hymn-a-Day May series. I pray that these paired daily selections will uplift your spirits and feed your soul as much as it does mine.
Isaiah 45:2-6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
2 I will go before you
and level the mountains,[a]
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
and cut through the bars of iron,
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
and riches hidden in secret places,
so that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
I surname you, though you do not know me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
besides me there is no god.
I arm you, though you do not know me,
6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Our names are personal. They are extensions of ourselves. They not only identify us to others, but they take on our own identity and we wrap ourselves in them. Of all the words we hear spoken in love or rejection, in support or in opposition, in joy or in sorrow, in kindness or in bitterness, none has the power of our name. Think of it. To hear, “I’m so glad to see you!” spoken with your name has more power than the sentiment alone. To hear, “Oh, I have missed you so much!” spoken with your name has more power than the words alone. And our name sounds especially sweet on the lips of someone who loves us.
The idea that God calls us by name speaks to relationship. This passage from Isaiah is a reminder to the people of his day that God is God and that God is with them. God knows them by name and will make a way for them through the obstacle they face.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster