The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me
These words spoken by the prophet Israel, we, as Christians, understand in a more expansive way. They are intended now for one or for a few but for all.
It helps for us to meditate for a moment on the details. To name something in Old Testament was a sign of possession, and yes, dominion. Adam is told he can name the animals. God changes the names of people from Abram in the Old Testament to Saul in the New Testament. Our parents have the right to name us because we are theirs. The passage reminds us that before we are even born we all are created by God and if we acknowledge the truth, we are his. As this passage says, we are his servants.
While we may not like the concept of servitude. This servitude conceals the great paradox. When it comes to us and God, to borrow lyrics from an old song, "The closer I'm bound in love to you, the closer I am to free." By falling into God's love and becoming God's servants, we find our truest freedom, our truest identity, our real name.