How many times do you write your name in a week? In a life? Who else is writing our names down? Think about it. The examples seem endless. Yet, how many of those instances endure beyond our lives?
Psalm 69 is the first reference in the Scriptures to the Book of Life. Paul, himself an Jewish scholar and teacher, refers to women and men he has worked alongside in his letter to the Philippians whose names will be included in this list. And, of course, the Book of Revelation is the place where the Book of Life is most often named. Seven references there help make clear how firmly the early church was convinced that God is keeping a list of names. In every case, it is a list on which faithful people want to be included.
I was thinking about names and lists on Sunday afternoon, after seeing Walter Champagne honor Jimmy Bridges as the 2014 Lonnie Whitehurst Man of the Year recipient. I was thinking how his name joined the faithful workers who have come before him. It prompted me to return to the wall where they are honored and spend a few moments appreciating them. Here they are, for you to appreciate, too:
Lonnie Whitehurst, Bobby Clark, Eddie Reid, Wesley Crews, Lem Sawyer, Earl Haynes, Bob Thompson, Jim Carter, Judson Mullican, Glenn Griffin, Dick Stallings, Bill Hughes, James Johnson, Carroll Ward, Frank Littlefield, Tom Patrick, Gene Frantz, Buddy Dunn, Wayne Morris, Tommy Mayton, Harold Morris, Steve Sawyer, Gary Ledbetter, Bill Pharris, Jerry Brown, Mike Morris, Ron Weese, Ted Bush, Walter Champagne, James Waters, Shawn Jandreau and now Jimmy Bridges. I am grateful for them.
I pray that this week that starts a season of holidays and celebrations is good. We have much for which to be thankful and celebrate. I pray that the people you gather with, and the names you remember and cherish, will spur you on to faithfulness and a life that pursues God's love. Grace and Peace, Scott