More than 400 years before the birth of Christ lived a man named Nehemiah. He lived in a time that was more than 100 years after the Isrealites were exiled to Babylon. When he heard that the walls of Jerusalem, the city of God, were in ruins, he wept for days. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem and led one of the greatest restoration projects of all time. He motivated people to work on building small portions of the wall and together they accomplished the task in 52 days.
Nehemiah did not exempt himself from the project, instead he rolled up his own sleeves and hoisted stones to construct the wall. His work can still be seen today, more than 2400 years later!
Though the most visible result of his efforts was the wall, Nehemiah knew that the wall was only one part of rebuilding the identity of the people of Israel. As they built, he had to fight problems among his own people as well as taking insults thrown at him from neighboring people and countries. Nehemiah knew that it was in the honor with which the wall was built that would help to rebuild the dignity of the people of Israel and of their God.
How are we kingdom builders? How are we taking steps to restore the “walls” of our city? I can assure you that our neighbors are not impressed by our church buildings or constructions. What impresses them? What kind of things are our communities looking for in us that will help us to rebuild the dignity of the followers of Christ in our world?
Check out this bold statement in a recent Neue post:
What if we began casting vision for people’s lives, not just for the roles we want their lives to inhabit? What if people couldn’t wait to be ushers, work with kids, do setup and tear down, for a time, in order to be around us because they knew we would challenge them to take the step towards whatever was next?
And what if learning by serving within they would then have the drive, hunger, and motivation to then boldly take steps out of the comforts of the walls of the church and rebuild the “walls” of Christianity?
Nehemiah 6:3 … I am going a great work and cannot come down.