Together and Working
Resource Scripture Passage: Nehemiah 3
“What’s the scariest part of a meeting?” William and Susan were discussing an invitation from friends who are Christians.
Susan replied, “For me the scary part happens when they start opening their Bibles. I don’t know where all those books are found. If I look like I’m using the TOC everyone probably thinks I’m a dummy.”
“What’s a TOC?”
Deep sight of exasperation. “You know, it’s a Table of Contents.” William nods in understanding.
“What’s scary to you?”
“Finding the book is tough but what really locks me up is when they say ‘We’ll take turns reading.’ When they say that, I start to worry and count around the group because I always get a passage with these names no one can pronounce. One time I had to read something like Mahershalalhashbaz.”
William agrees, “Some of these people just read the names like they were Robert or Sam or something. I don’t get it. Why does the Bible have to have all these names?”
Susan paused and while nodding her head finally said, “Maybe it’s because God thinks they were all important people.” A shoulder shrug from William appeared to signal agreement or more puzzled wondering.
Friends, it is vitally important to be aware God knows our names. A casual reading of today’s Scripture passage from the Bible’s book of Nehemiah (3:22-32) may be daunting because the names sound odd to us.
William and Susan might be scrambling if they heard Nehemiah’s list for there was: “Benjamin, Hasshub, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, Binnui son of Henadad, Palal son of Uzai, Pedaiah son of Parosh, Zadok son of Immer, Shemaiah son of Shekaniah, Hananiah son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, Meshullam son of Berekiah, and Malkijah….”
Thankfully, obstacles like unusual names (to us unusual) are no barrier to Almighty God. Every name is a person. Every person is in a family. Evidently, God knows people so well that the names, even unpronounceable names to our ears, are important – God is always taking names and observing behavior.
Thus, naming the individuals, the families, the teams, and the wondrous outcomes they achieve, records God attentiveness to the people. Jerusalem is being rebuilt.
It is the desire of God for disciples to work together; and when it happens, the results can be magnificent. Whatever your name, let’s get to work.
Life Application: More insight? If the naming list of Nehemiah is not enough, read and think about what William’s and Susan’s reflections might be after reading Matthew 1:1-17 or Luke 3:23-37. Using your online search engine check out: Jen Wilkin, “Son of a Son of a Son,” Christianity Today, January/February 2019, p.28.