Your Name – Women’s Devotion

When was the last time you heard someone say your name? Did they need something? Were they looking for an answer or a decision? Were they hoping you could fix it? (Whatever it is.) Or did they just need a listening ear and some quality time?

From the moment our feet hit the floor until the time our head hits the pillow, days are filled with expectation and responsibility. We hear our name called and respond as needed. Most wouldn’t have it any other way and take great joy in what they do and how they serve others.

But if we’re honest, there are some days that are so blindingly busy we don’t know which end is up or what to do next. Those days, we dread hearing our own name said because it means “one more thing.”

No doubt Mary Magdalene was a woman who took her responsibilities seriously. After Jesus cast out seven demons, she traveled with and cared for the needs of Jesus and his disciples (Luke 8:1-3). Despite her grief over the crucifixion, she got up before dawn to anoint Jesus’ body (John 20:1). When she found the tomb empty, she rushed off to inform the disciples (John 20:1-2). She even offered to go get the body if only the gardener would tell her where it was (John 20:15).

Every time we read about Mary Magdalene in the Bible she is always “doing.”

Does that sound like you? Always responsible? Always preparing? Always taking care of other’s needs? Always willing to do whatever it takes when your name is called?

If so, consider Mary Magdalene’s interaction with Jesus on Easter morning.

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”) (John 20:11-16).

In the middle of Mary Magdalene’s frenzied, emotional attempts to do “one more thing” that might possibly make the nightmare of the day before better, Jesus comes to her and simply says her name. Mary. The name Jesus knew before she was born (Isaiah 49:1). The name engraved on the palms of his hands (Isaiah 49:16). The name written in the book of life (Revelation 3:5).

Without expectation or responsibility, Jesus said her name so she would stop and know there was nothing more for her to do. Her risen Lord had done it all.

That’s what Holy Week is all about.

Jesus says the same to you. From the loving words written in the Bible to the highest heavens that declare his glory, Jesus is saying you don’t have to do “one more thing.” Jesus knew your name before you were born. He engraved your name on the palms of his hands. And because of what Jesus did the first Holy Week, your name is written in the book of life. When Jesus says your name it’s not with expectation or responsibility, but so you know you can stop your “doing.” There is nothing more for you to do. Your risen Lord has done it all.

Written by Dawn Schulz