As I read today’s scripture, I thought of all the movies I’ve seen. When does the movie end? Is it when the actors are no longer on the screen? Is it when the final name rolls across the screen – even though the attendants are already picking up the popcorn containers from the floor? Our daughter has yet to get her name in a major motion picture, but she has worked on a lot of lesser known films. Only the big names that come at the beginning of the movie get the fame and fortune. Of the hundreds of names at the end, some receive nothing more than their names in the credits. In respect for them all, I now watch every name roll across the screen. I read the names listed in 1 Chronicles, looking for a name that means something to me.
This morning, I met a young man who was walking along the beach (I’m on a retreat in Florida this week.). It was his first time on the beach. He said he came out to find a shell and there was not one shell but millions of them. “I want to find a big one to bring to my girlfriend,” he said. I told him he needed a good storm the night before if that’s what he wanted. “No, I don’t want a storm,” he replied. “Then I guess it all depends on what you are looking for.” After all, there were millions and millions of tiny shells that the tide had brought in. And as I walked, I wondered does each one matter? Do we matter? Some days it feels like we are just a tiny little spot among billions of other tiny spots on a small planet circling one of millions of stars. Hundreds of years from now will anyone remember? Will my name or your name be remembered? Do we matter?
1 Chronicles seems to indicate each name matters. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul indicates that even those who have died matter. In fact, we will be with the Lord forever (vs 17). You don’t have to recognize a name to believe a person matters. All matter to God.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified (vs 3). To be sanctified is to be holy. It is a process of spiritual growth by which we draw ever closer to God and become more and more the image that we find in Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (vs 14)
You matter! Each one matters to God.