John 20:14-18

Just ask anyone who is a regular substitute teacher in elementary school. The quickest way to effectively manage a classroom is to learn the ornery kid’s name. 

Names are powerful things. We will pretend to like the most ridiculous name simply because our friends have proudly chosen it for their new baby. We will turn our heads when we hear our name called, even if we’re in an unfamiliar town.

Names are powerful. 

Mary thought he was just the gardener. She thought he was a person who might help her, who would tell her where to find the body of Jesus.

She didn’t know it was him until he said her name, “Mary” (v. 16).

When he said her name…oh, my goodness! She awoke from her fog. Her pulse raced. Her heart pounded as her mind filled with a jumble of disbelief and hope! 

And then she said his name back. She knew who he was because she recognized his voice when he said her name. He was her person, the one she longed for the most.

When someone says our name with love, they are saying, “I see you. I know you. You matter.” When the One who gives us life calls to us, we know who we are once again. Praise God that we are known by name by our Creator and Savior.


Who do you long to hear speak your name just one more time?


We know you by so many names, Holy One, but you know us by only one. You say we are your beloved, the ones in whom you are well pleased. Oh, how loved we are! Amen.

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