Selling old and broken jewelry is a big practice these days. We buy scrap gold at the jewelry store where I work. Some people bring in bags of old stuff, looking to turn it into cash. It's usually my job to sort through the pile, pick out the stuff that is real gold, and figure out what karat it is.
Recently, we had a customer turn in an old pocket watch. I was surprised to find an old photograph mounted inside one of the gold flaps. The black and white photo was of a man in his late twenties wearing a nice hat - probably taken in the 1920's. One can only imagine what was going through his mind at the time. I'm sure he was filled with ideas, ready to make a name for himself. Yet, here his photo was, overlooked and turned in for money.
Didn't his family care that this piece of his history was being abandoned? Did his surviving relatives even remember who he was?
This incident helped me remember that no matter how important we think we are, and no matter how much we may try to make a lasting impression on this earth, we are 100 years away from being completely forgotten. Sure, there are some whose memories are remembered longer than that - but compare those few thousands whom we still remember with the billions of people who have lived and died throughout history.
My Bible reading today included the verse "Your name, O Lord, is everlasting."
There is only one name that will outlast even time itself - the name of God. He will be recognized and praised forever. The best part is that God extends His name to us. He allows us to be called by His name through divine union - just like a King who calls upon a common woman to be his queen and bear his name.
So, I have a choice. I can either strive to make a name for myself that might be remember for a generation or two - or I can be called by the name that will be remembered forever.
One final warning about taking God's name:
Exodus 20:7 instructs "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain."
Contrary to the popular notion that this is a command about not using swear words that have the word "God" in it - this verse is about adopting God's name in an unworthy manner. It would be like being the common woman who accepts the name of the King, but continues to live in her clay hut. The heart of the command is this: "Don't be called by my name but then live for your name - don't call yourself my people and then live in a way contrary to my name."
Sadly, there are people today who take the name of Jesus - calling themselves Christians - who live in a way contrary to that name. Taking the name of Christ is more than receiving a title - it is entirely about adopting a new lifestyle that reflects the sacredness of that name.
If anyone has questions about what it means to receive Jesus' name - ask a Christian in your life. Hopefully, they will be among those who have accepted a lifestyle and not just a title.
Fri, September 3, 2010
by Aaron Kren filed under