Tag Archives: Baptism

I have called you by name

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
(Isaiah 43:1)

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.

January birds

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?


In the Daily Office, several themes recur on particular days each week.

On Sundays we rejoice in Christ’s resurrection, on Saturdays we relax in God’s creation, on Fridays we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The collects appointed for those three days (BCP 98-99, 123) draw the themes out fairly obviously.

It’s a little more subtle, but on Thursdays we can discern a baptismal theme. The canticle suggested for use after the first lesson on Thursday mornings is the Song of Moses (BCP 85). The story of the Exodus is linked in the Christian mind with the Easter Vigil, and therefore with Baptism. For that reason, the Song of Moses is also to be used on Sunday mornings throughout Easter season.

Today’s readings center on two characters in peril on the sea.

Jonah, who has survived being in the belly of the whale (baptism by ingestion?), finally gets around to his mission, preaching to the people of Nineveh.

Paul’s confidence in God reassures the sailors that they will survive the violent storm and the shipwreck. Note that Paul also celebrates the Eucharist with them, the breaking and blessing of bread that follows Baptism.

We are baptized into Christ’s life, and each week we can remember, relax, and rejoice in God’s saving grace.