Vietnam Memorial Wall
Names on a wall. Recognition of service. Walk here and feel the sacrifice. Rub your hand across the name of one and feel the heartbeat of all. You will linger here for this is hallowed ground. It is quiet here. Each name is an image bearer of the Creator, of a nation, of a mother and a father. Each name is precious. Each name now has a visible place in history, to never be forgotten.
The Bible is replete with name after unpronounceable name. WHY? We skip over them as if they do not matter. We do not know them; no face to go with the name. So why are they listed? Who really cares who begat who? Who cares about a census and how many children so and so had? Who cares who built a temple, a wall, fought a war, or was taken into captivity? All that was thousands of years ago, Right?
Look at the wall of names of our nation’s sons and daughters. Do they matter?
God is raising up a new generation. God wants us to be a holy people. God cares about people–not collectively, but individually. He is a God who knows you by name! LIsten to His words to Isaiah: “But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.”
Nehemiah the prophet had it put into his heart to rebuild Jerusalem and fill it with people. A city is useless without people! Think about the Mayan ruins, ancient Rome, Galatia, Carthage, and Pompei. For the city of Jerusalem, God’s holy city, Nehemiah wanted to fill it with the Jews; descendants of the brave who picked up and returned when Cyrus the Great released them from 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
Every name in Nehemiah’s record of rebuilding the wall and then the city is important. He lists their name, occupation, tribe, and the way they lived, fought and built under extreme conditions.
Nehemiah laid down his palatial living in Babylon to go to Jerusalem and build the wall. Each person listed gave up something to participate in rebuilding God’s city. Because of the sacrifice each gave, Jesus was able to ride a donkey into the city and fulfill over 300 prophesies and secure our salvation! (Nehemiah chapters 3, 7, 12)
Read Isaiah 43:1-7
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
There are five proclamations. Put YOUR NAME in the place of the word “you”.
Now tell me your name is not important. As you read Scripture, recognize each unpronounceable name is of a real person, with a real life, a real occupation, a real purpose, whose life has real meaning. So does yours’! In the Old Testament scriptures, names were named to give recognition of a life lived in service of God for HIs purpose to redeem mankind. In the New Testament, we are told our names are written down in the Lamb’s book of life when we trust in Christ as Savior and serve Him to spread the good news. (Luke 10:20) God recognizes us! Our names are on the roll!
Don’t skip the names! Would you want God to skip your name? Read each one. Thank God for the sacrifice of each one. Each laid a stone on your path to salvation!
Today, you will encounter others you do not know. Do you give a flying flip? Numbers, Nehemiah, and every other book that name’s names in the story of Jesus represents a person who matters to God. Our Savior has asked us to go into all the world and share how much He loves them: Their lives matter to God so much so He gave His Son to ransom them from prison. So I hope today, we will look into an unknown face and offer a smile, offer a hand of assistance, offer a ear of listening, offer a shoulder to cry on, offer a meal to the traveler, just offer the love of Jesus in some small way. Nehemiah laid down rich living for hard work and used his own resources to pay his own way and secured many of the supplies to build the wall. What is God asking you to lay down? What did Jesus lay down? What city did Jesus build? “For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.” He laid down His life.
Who is on your wall of remembrance on your journey to the cross? Write them down! Tell the story. Immortalize this! Say a prayer of thanksgiving for each life lived who has paved the way for your triumphal entry into the New Jerusalem! Your name will be on someone else’s wall of remembrance, never to be forgotten if you have pointed them to Jesus.
https://youtu.be/ZtlDVleJBtA Francesca Battistelli If We’re Honest
Treading with the all who served and laid down their lives,