What’s in a Name?

By on January 1, 2022

“I have called you by your name, you are mine.” says Isaiah 43:1. Right from the early days of the Bible we are taught that names matter. We are told that God calls us by name and knows us intimately and singularly, and that we are, each of us, God’s own. People like Abram, Saul and Simon are re-named in their holy trans- formations to Abraham, Paul and Peter. Joseph is visited by an angel to tell him of Mary’s impending divine birth and the name he will give to the child who will come with saving grace: Jesus. The name given to this child who has come into the world is ‘Emmanuel: God With Us’. At baptism our name is announced in full and we are accepted by that name into the holy family of God. An outward sign of an inward grace. At Jesus’ baptism he is named by God: Beloved. And so are we.

I was asked not too long ago this question: What have you always known? I invite you to ponder it. Or maybe journal about it.

Richard Rohr tells us we have divine DNA, and that when we pay attention to this reverence hum- ming inside us, we recognize and realize and fall in love with the divine indwelling of God. What have you always known? Certainly what we know appears to be a mixture of nature and nurture as we develop a passion for using our hands to create things or music that stirs our soul, or statistics (yep, my son loves statistics!!), or being with children or helping others or the healing arts or leading others or any number of things we grow into. But recognizing the divine in us is more than that. It’s coming to sense who we are in God. What were you created for? What are the superpowers you were born with? What are your offerings? What are your longings? And once we begin to sense our divine DNA, we can co-create: becoming who God always called us to be. We can remember. Trusting that our name is ‘God’s Beloved.’

What have you always known?


  • Karen Archibald

    Karen Archibald is a member of the Spiritual Development Committee.

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