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Called By Name – Christmas 2012

Standing outside an empty tomb, Mary Magdalene weeps. Two angels sit where Jesus’ body had just lay. They ask, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away and I don’t know where they have put him,” she replies.

At this, she turns around to see a man standing before her.

Jesus.

The One for whom she is grieving. The One for whom her broken heart aches, now stands before her.

But, she doesn’t realize it is He.

“Woman, why are you crying?” He asks the same question the angels posed.

The One wept for, asks the one weeping, “Who is it you are looking for?”

Mary doesn’t recognize this One; mistakes him for the gardener. “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”

Then, He calls her by name.

“Mary.”

The voice whispering through fringes of her memory, spoke out loud…calling her by name.
The voice she knew so well, but couldn’t hear through her grief, called to her again.

By name.

Name spoken, she realizes…it is He.

Jesus – stands before her. And, she rushes to embrace him.

Did she grip him hard? Trying to hold fast to the One she loves and had just lost, with a grip so tight, as if to not lose him again.

Tell my brothers, He says, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”

Profound words. Words to give pause. And, wonder over.

This man, God incarnate, who rose from the dead, said:

“I’m going to My Father and your Father, 
My God and your God.”

This Christmas, we celebrate the birth of this One…this Jesus. Born into this world a helpless baby that He might die on a cross, be laid in a tomb of grey and conquer death – that we might become…children of God.

My Father…your Father.

John 20 concludes with these words,

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Today we celebrate the baby born to give life to each of us.

Jesus.

The Way, the Truth and the Life.

May you recognize the One before you, the One who is always with us – Immanuel. The One who calls us each by name, in our most painful times of distress.

May you recognize Him today and be filled with His hope, peace and life.

Come let us adore Him. Christ the Lord.

Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

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