Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of June 14, 2009
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. we hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Called by name
"Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave
them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them
out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first,
Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip
and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector;
James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the
Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed
There is great power and significance in naming.
Scripture recognizes how important names are. Names
affirm people as significant. We are more than a
social security number, zip code, credit card number.
Names are personal, insightful, prophetic, and
revealing. Our names are often carefully chosen
before birth by eager parents. These names
frequently reflect their hopes and dreams for us.
Some dear friends are expecting their first child.
They have struggled mightily to find the perfect
name. Because of ultrasound technology, they know
their baby's gender in advance and have chosen to
name him Matthew, meaning "God's gift."
People have often asked why I initially wrote
Internet reflections under the pen name "Surprised
by Joy" over the years. God blessed me with the
pen name "Surprised by Joy" in 1997. It had been
an extended time of crisis, major transition, deep
grief, loss, and upheaval for me. When asked to
write anonymous reflections for a church under a
pen name, I struggled to find a name that accurately
described my spiritual pilgrimage from darkness into
light. I signed that first reflection, "Surprised
by Joy." As the years passed by, I missed being
known by my real name.
All this to say, I am deeply moved by these simple
verses where Jesus names his inner circle of
disciples. He speaks their names and knows them
intimately. Even the future betrayer is named.
Jesus knows our names. He knows us better than we
know ourselves. I rejoice in being known personally
by God. The Psalmist puts it this way, "O LORD, you
have searched me and you know me" (Psalm 139:1 NIV).
God knows us by name. Amazing.
God, thank you for knowing our names. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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