Just One Thing: Names

Multi-syllabic,                                                                 DSCN0495
Mostly unpronounceable,
They march across the pages.

Trailing their fathers,
Embedded in community,
Their names inscribe the ages.

There are no nameless —
There are no faceless —
Followers of God Most High.
Although we read them
With hearts too numb to marvel
At the grace that’s between the lines;

For these are the people promised to Abraham,
The ones for whom God split the sea,
Who sold themselves cheaply
And squandered their chosen-ness —

Just like me.

Seventy servants
Returned from a mission
With tales of demons falling.

Sharing their conquests,
‘Til Jesus gave perspective:
“Your joy is not your calling,

“But you have names
And you have faces
You’re followers of God Most High.
And so your names,
‘Enrolled among the righteous,’
Are written in My Book of Life.”

For they are the people promised to Abraham,
Outnumbering the stars they can see.
When the Lamb’s Book is opened
They’ll hold their breaths, listening.
On their faces, they’ll be listening —

Just like me.

Last Sunday as we waded through the names in Nehemiah 7, I couldn’t ignore the repeated references to the idea that God keeps records of the names of His people.  It’s prevalent in the Old Testament (the Psalmists, Daniel, and remember Moses begging God to wipe his own name out of the book rather than giving up on this people?).  Then, Jesus told The Seventy to “rejoice because your names are written in heaven” when they returned from their short-term missions trip.  His message to them was that God’s cherishing and recording of their name is more reason for them to rejoice than their ability to “trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy,” (Luke 10:17-20).

This post is the eighteenth in a series in which I ponder “just one thing”  each week from my study of the book of Nehemiah, as I travel slowly and thoughtfully through the chapters with my Sunday School class.  If you’d like to make a comment or leave a link to your own blog post about your wall-building stories, I’d love to read it. If you want to catch up with previous posts, here’s the link:  https://michelemorin.wordpress.com/tag/nehemiah/.

10 thoughts on “Just One Thing: Names”

  1. “When the Lamb’s Book is opened
    They’ll hold their breaths, listening.
    On their faces, they’ll be listening —

    Just like me.”

    I love this! I am reminded of the reference in Revelation to a little white stone we will be given with a name written on it that only the one who receives it will know… (2:17) So precious. So personal. Thanks for sharing these tidbits from Nehemiah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely move around and about between the OT and NT. I’ve read many of the prophetic pieces for several years. And history is very important. I just finished John yesterday, so hitting Acts tomorrow. But had already finished the OT, b/4 getting through the NT again. Much of it is so Godly focusing. That’s what we and all in the world need. Right now Sodom and Gomorrah are world wide instead of a small area. My heart is filled with our world…and worshiping the Lord for heaven is all that counts. Thank you for sharing.


  2. I love the poetry to remind us that God chose each of us by name and we all matter. I always find it hard to get through those pages in the Bible that list the names but I can thank you for giving me a new perspective on this. Blessings!


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