Today's reading is supposed to be Exodus 36-38, but I just have to jump back to yesterday's chapters. Yesterday in Sunday school, my little four year olds and I talked about Jesus being our shepherd and knowing each of us by name. I love that thought. Maybe that is why Exodus 33 and 34 resonated with me. Names are mentioned no fewer than five times.
33:12 "...'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.'"
33:17 "...'because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.'"
33:19 "...'I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.'"
34:5 "Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord."
34:14 "Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
These verses remind me how important names are. I'm not great at remembering them, but even when I'm fairly certain, I'm nervous to call a person by their name. What if I pronounce it wrong? Or mess you up with your look-alike? I could be (!!) embarrassed! Or. Would it be so awful to just double check a name; just ask if I have it right? Of course not. It lets a person know she is important to me. Calling a person by name is validating. So next time you see me, I should happily call you by name. Only please forgive me if I pronounce it incorrectly or get it altogether wrong. Of course if your name is "Jealous" that will probably stick with me.