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“It was Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and their companions….”  Luke 24:10

The women in this story are named. 

It may seem a bit late in the story. The lateness of the naming may be an intentional literary decision, keeping the focus at the outset on the events of the resurrection story and not the persons. The naming of the women in the story just as they were making their way to share the news with the apostles provides context for the relationships and their credibility with the apostles. Each of these women now named—and those companions who are not—had connection and status in the life of Jesus before his death and in the community of the disciples. 

They are finally named. This is important for many reasons.

Names and being named hold power and reveal relationships. When someone remembers our name, we feel acknowledged. When someone uses our name, the relationship is clarified and deepened. We are seen, and we are known. 

This is true in our relationship with God.

In Isaiah 43:1, we hear these words:

But now thus says the Holy One,
  the One who created you, O Jacob,
  Who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
  I have called you by name; you are mine.

Named, redeemed, claimed, and loved.

As we hear the names of these women today in this story, spend time with your own name. What does your name mean to you? What does being known by your name mean for you in your spiritual life and in your daily living? What does it mean that God calls you by your name and claims you in loving kindness, safety, and new life?

Over the next several days in this 50-day series, we will spend intentional time with each of these women now named in the story. Each of them was close to Jesus and shared in his circle of the community of disciples. They deserve our attention and interest. As the first to experience the resurrection, we owe them much.

Tomorrow we will begin several days of time with Mary of Magdala.

Prayer: Holy God, you call me by my name and saved me. Thank you for this risen life where I am known and loved. Your naming sets me free. Alleluia. Amen. 

Photo: “Easter Morning” by Maurice Denis, 1891

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