Rock & Roll and the Good News: Episode #4 – No Name…Big Impact

If you have not done so before, please review the Background on the Program

As you start to review this episode, please know that YOU matter. Regardless of what you are struggling with, regardless of the depths of your sorrows and regardless of how lonely you feel, the Good News is that YOU matter. I hope the message below nourishes you in the most meaningful way to comfort you and strengthen you to keep climbing into the ring to face your battles.

Episode #4: No Name…Big Impact

Today’s episode starts with a song from The Band, The Weight.

Please spend a few minutes listening to any version you can find on the internet.


Welcome back…

I hope you enjoyed that song. The Band played such amazing songs in the 60s and 70s. Most people know their songs when they hear them, but very few know of their name or their history.  Most of The Band was from Canada except for the great drummer and singer Levon Helm.  Robbie Robertson is one of the greatest songwriters in the history of Rock & Roll but very few people know his name.

The song and the story of The Band highlights the reality for many of us…we are not living the lifestyle of the Rich and Famous. We don’t have a stadium full of fans chanting our name and we don’t have the TV crews following our every move around our newly minted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We really have “no name” to most of the world around us.

When we look into the ancient scriptures, we find there are many examples of “no names” who made one seemingly insignificant decision at the time, but had massive impact down the road.  The ancient Jewish and Christian scriptures provide us with some inspiring and encouraging examples of the impact we can have even with our “no name” status in the world.  The story of the “no name” nephew of the apostle Paul in the book of Acts Chapter 23 versus 12-23 is one we should be familiar with (please find a version of this scripture on the internet).  

The backdrop of this situation is that Paul, after his conversion to the cause of Christ, spent years spreading the message of Christ throughout the Middle East. Paul and his faithful companions were persecuted for their teachings and endured tremendous hardships in their effort to spread the message of Christ. At one particular moment, Paul faced the Sanhedrin assembly to justify is actions, which, in the minds of those in power at the time, was incredibly disruptive to the rule of law.

As a result of Paul’s message to the Sanhedrin, he was threatened by the crowd and almost killed. The commander in the town (basically the chief of police) saw what was happening and had his troops place Paul in their barracks so that he would not be killed by the growing mob. 

After Paul was taken away, the angry mob gathered and made a plan to kill Paul for his beliefs and all the disruption that his message was having on the traditional thinking at the time. Paul’s nephew just happened to be standing by and overheard the plot to kill him.

“More than forty men were involved in this plot. They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.  But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.”

Paul’s nephew is never named in all of scripture, a real “no name”, and now he had a decision to make. He could have stayed quiet and just let things play out as most people want to avoid conflict and simply avoid difficult situations. No one would have ever known that he knew about this plot to kill Paul. Or, he could take the information he received and do something about it.

Paul’s nephew chose to speak to the commander of the town and tell him of what he overheard of this plot to kill Paul.  As a result of him speaking up, the commander transferred Paul to another town in the middle of the night so he would not be killed in ambush that was being planned for him in the morning.

As a result of this seemingly small, insignificant act by this “no name”, Paul, the author of most of the ancient scriptures of the Christian faith, was spared a violent and untimely death.  This “no name” with one small act of stepping up and speaking out, basically ensure the message of Christ would be carried on for generations through the inspiring writings of the apostle Paul.

This message is a great reminder to all of us that even if we are not rich and famous and very few people know our name, we can still deliver small acts of kindness, of courage, of day to day giving our best for those we care about most, that can really and truly make a difference in the lives of others. We will probably never make the headlines of the national news, but our small acts day to day can make a massive impact on the lives of those around us. God will exponentially expand our impact when we act in faith to be kind to others, serve the needs of others, and courageously step forward when we see trouble ahead.

Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

  • When have I felt insignificant and just a simple “no name” in this world?
  • How can I build my resolve to carry on with small acts of kindness and service to others that may seem like nothing but could potentially be a big help to those in need?

As you continue along in your journey, please remember that even though the world may consider us a “no name”, God knows our name. As a matter of fact, the ancient scriptures say He knew us before we were even in the womb of our mother and He even knows the very number of hairs on our head.  We should always find a reason to be kind and compassionate to others because God is always faithful in His compassion for us…and we should follow His example to others around us.   

As you continue to reflect on the message, please take a moment to search the internet to find and listen to Elvis Presley sing, Father Along.       


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