Easter: Your Child is Loved by God!

Easter: Your Child is Loved by God!

March 23, 2024

Bible Verse

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). (NIV)  John 20:15-16

One of the first things I try to do in a new setting with students I don’t know is learn their names. It’s not always easy as I’m not great with names, but calling a student by their name is so much more meaningful than calling them some other non-specific greeting. Being called by our name means that we are known and seen. That is so important for everyone, especially students.

The culture that our kids are growing up in is increasingly isolating. Social media and the internet—billed as ways to connect—have only grown to separate us. And years of isolation due to the Covid pandemic have separated us even more. A growing number of people report feeling more alone now than ever before. Being known by name personally by other people and by God is more important now than ever before.

I can’t imagine how alone Jesus' followers must have felt after his death. But it changed everything when Jesus met Mary in the garden after his resurrection and called her by name. It meant that even in her darkest hour, God still knew her. Jesus still loved her. She wasn’t alone. The same was true for the rest of Jesus' disciples. And it's true for you and your kids as well.

During this Easter season, take some time with your kids to remind them of the value of their names and the importance God places on knowing them as his children. Here are a few ideas.

What’s in a name? Take some time to explore your child’s name. Why did you name them what you did? What does their name mean? How is their name and its meaning a blessing for them? If you’re unsure of the meaning, a quick internet search should help you find some helpful resources. Share with them any significance to your name as well.

Called by name. Do your best to learn the names of your children’s friends and parents. As a family, try to learn the names of people you run into regularly: the person who bags your groceries or the barista who makes your coffee. Read name tags and address these folks. There is meaning in calling someone by their name. Make this a family practice. Our world is increasingly impersonal, but we can take small steps to change that daily as a family.

God knows our name. The Bible calls us children of God often (John 1:12, Romans 8:14-17, Galatians 3:26). Take time to read those passages with your kids this week. Talk about what it means to be a child of God—the privileges and responsibilities. Being a child of God means that God knows and loves us. It also means that Jesus' resurrection was for each of us specifically. When Jesus calls Mary by name, he also calls me, you, and your kids by name, too. This changes Easter from something impersonal that happened long ago in an unfamiliar land to something that matters to you and your children each day.

In a world where our children all too often feel insignificant and unknown, Easter tells them that they matter to God and are very special to him. Special enough that Jesus died and rose from the dead for them and that he knows them by name.

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article What it Means to Love One Another.

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is the Director of Faith Formation at First Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado. He has also served churches in California and Michigan. He has a passion for youth ministry and intergenerational ministry in the local church. When he isn’t working at church or writing he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 2 children, hiking, woodworking, and watching movies.

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