There seems to be an almost limitless number of Who’s Who books. There’s one for every state, for colleges and universities, for every major sport and most of the minor ones. There’s one for television, movies, and the stage. Major professions have their own lists.
And if you are inclined by now to think every specialty on earth has a Who’s Who, surely you wouldn’t be surprised to find that heaven has one too.
All the earthly Who’s Who volumes carry a high entrance fee of achievement. You have to be the fastest or smartest, richest or most powerful, first to discover or last to abandon. You might get in if you win enough medals, lose enough pounds, or draw the most beautiful pictures. Practically all firsts get in, maybe a few seconds, and practically no others.
The heavenly Who’s Who has a different criterion for being included. Oh, none of the pretty, smart, powerful, or first-place people are necessarily excluded from it. On the other hand – and this is what is most important – people who belong to none of these categories may also be included.
How does someone qualify? Just think of some of the names already on the list, and identify what they have in common. There are women like Sarah, Rahab, Deborah, Mary, and Dorcas. There are men like Noah, Moses, Amos, John the Baptist, and Timothy. You will find kings and fishermen, farmers and seamstresses, a few the world called “somebodies” and several it called “nobodies.”
A few had their names included for big things they did, and many, many more for little things. One I recall led forces that defeated a much larger and better-equipped army. Another only shared his sack lunch that contained five pieces of bread and two smoked fish.
Figured it out yet? It has nothing to do with greatness in the eyes of the world, for God’s standard of excellence is totally different. In the words of T.W. Matson, “In the kingdom of God, service is not the path to greatness. It is greatness.”
Heaven’s Who’s Who lists servants — only servants.
God Bless and go Cats!
Rev. Scott Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville.