When Jesus went to the cemetery and raised Lazarus from the dead, He called him by name. “Lazarus, come out.” God loves us enough to get personal with us. He knows us by name. That’s so amazing but also kind of scary, isn’t it? If He gets personal, shouldn’t we get personal? Shouldn’t we want to know him and others on a more personal level? In this vast and enormous universe filled with millions of people, I matter to Him because He knows my name

We are programmed these days not to get personal – with our co-workers, friends, or even family. Let them live their lives, make their own decisions, and don’t ask any probing questions they may not want to answer (or we might not want to hear). We text, chat and use social media to communicate with friends, co-workers, and loved ones, instead of spending time talking face to face, or at least just talking. Jesus loved Lazarus just as He loves us, and called Him by name out of the grave. Isaiah 43:1 says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

What does this mean for us? It means that the voice of God is calling us (by name) away from whatever imprisons us, even though we don’t always hear that call. What did Lazarus hear? He heard a familiar, loving voice calling his name, like sheep who know the voice of their shepherd. He heard the voice of reassurance, God’s voice is a calming presence, a “still, small, voice” that comforts and gives us hope. The voice of Jesus that comforted Mary and Martha, was the same voice that enabled Lazarus to be free of the grave and can set us free. His voice calls us from our old habits and invites us to try new ones. It calls us from apathy and indifference to caring, from despair to hope, from darkness to light. The voice of Jesus calls us from loneliness to community and from captivity to freedom.

Deb Hill
Executive Assistant

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