for his name's sake
Thanks to NASA, last year I went to Mars! Not just me - I took the whole family, even my dog Kokomo! We also went along on a mission to bring back samples from a comet, and at this moment, we're en route to blast a piece off of another comet in July.
Now, full disclosure requires I tell you that in fact, we didn't pack bags and climb on board these ships. Our travels were in name only, that is each of these spacecraft carried our names, not our selves, into the heavens. Why did NASA collect our names (and the names of thousands of other space enthusiasts) for these voyages? Because, when our names were added to these ships, in some small way, we became a part of the mission, and our interest in it increased tremendously.
David tells us that God "leads us in paths of righteousness," vaD Daj pong chIch / for his name's sake. The Klingon word for name, pong is as simple a word as you can find, just as it is in the Hebrew word (shem). Name, pong, or shem it means simply - the title by which any person or thing is known or designated.
What does it mean to say that God leads us, for his name's sake? I think about the interest that I have, when my name is riding off to Mars, and I get a glimmer of what this means: my attention, my concentration is directed to what is happening out there. I'm rooting for that craft, cheering it on. I may have no power to assist it, but I care about what happens to it.
Can you imagine that God, having put his name on you would care any less? Nor is he powerless to come alongside and help you, watch over you, as you navigate your own voyage through life.
Feeling like a nobody? Feeling like you aren't good enough to be noticed? Think again. He's put his name on you - and he's going to see you through. Look at the promises of Psalm 23, the promises of the Bible, and you can see he's on your side - he's on board, so to speak, and he'll do much more than just cheer you on.
Originally podcast 4/1/2005