Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
For my ordination to the diaconate 17 years ago, my Lovely Wife made a stole with cross-stitched images of birds and flowers taken from The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. It’s a glorious Easter stole, bursting with life.
At the top of the stole, just below my shoulder, is a golden cross with the same words from Isaiah stitched beneath it: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
In this week following the Baptism of our Lord, we have prayed in the Collect of the Day that “all who are baptized in his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior” (BCP 214).
We can be bold in our confession because God has acted first, and we are his. The whole sweep of salvation history teaches this lesson — God continually reaches out toward us and makes us his people. He redeems us, he calls us, we are his.
Because we do not need to fear, we can embrace new life in Christ and follow his lead, no matter where it takes us. Just as the Son is intimately known by the Father, we too are intimately known by the Son. “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends” (John 15:15).
Through baptism, Christ calls each of us by name. What fear might you need to lay aside so you can hear his call more clearly? Where might your friendship with Christ lead you?