Whoever receives this child in my name receives me.  What is in a name?  A lot? Or not very much at all? You might say, “Booth”.  Because if your name is Jesus, that is really something!  But it is “something” for you only to the degree that you are connected to him and to the grace that his name carries.

Jesus’s disciples were still playing the “name game”, squabbling over who would become the most famous apostle.  So Jesus brought a small child to himself – a child whose name we never hear.  You can imagine him situating the young person right by his side, with his hands on the little one’s shoulders.  Then whey you hear him say, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, ” you realize that Jesus has connected himself with this child in a special way.  That is one lucky kid!

That child is you! In fact, Jesus has joined himself with you in an even deeper way than the little one.  Through the Spirit, he dwells in your heart.  Think about that – the Lord of heaven happily makes his home in you.  He delights in giving you a special place in God’s family and conferring his own name upon you.  You could even insert your own name into this phrase and hear Jesus say, “Whoever receives _____ receives me, for I have joined myself to them and will never leave them.”

It makes no difference if your name is never printed in newspapers or in the Bible, for that matter.  When you turn to Jesus and call on his name, no matter the circumstance, you are reaffirming your permanent connection with him.  And as you do, grace will flow into you through your bond with him.

So call on Jesus’s name in the middle of the storm, and you will receive his peace.  Are you uncertain about a decision?  You have access to the wisdom of Christ to guide you.  Are you lonely or weary?  Jesus walks along – side you, encouraging you and giving you his strength.  You bear the name of Christ – and nothing can overcome that name.