written by Keith Foster
And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away. Nehemiah 12:43
Reading through chapter 12 of Nehemiah the first thing you notice is a lot of names and most of them you can’t even pronounce. But they made it into the Bible. How awesome would that be to know your name is in the Bible? Well your name is in the Bible and a lot more times than you think. Anytime the New Testament church is mentioned, if you are a believer, that includes you.
A lot of the names in Nehemiah are part of a genealogy and many are unrelated. Nehemiah knew who all these people were. This tells me is that the people were in community together, like the New Testament church is supposed to be today. They were from different villages and backgrounds but all came together in one place. They were priests and associates, heads of families, gatekeepers and musicians but all came together for one purpose.
Now, why were all these folks getting together in chapter 12? To party, praise and give thanks. The walls were complete. They were having a celebration of thanksgiving of all God had accomplished through them. We need to do this today too. Although all the brokenness in our community may not be healed and the “wall” before us may not be complete, we still need to take time to rejoice because God will give us “great joy” just like he gave them. My Jerusalem is about rebuilding all of our community but it happens one restored relationship at a time; one rebuilt home at a time. And after, we celebrate those individual victories, we need to roll up our sleeves and continue the work of rebuilding the rest of the “walls” in our community.
This Saturday, dozens of homes will be impacted and hundreds of lives will be touched. I challenge you to join us and when the dust settles and the last prayers are offered, you too will experience the “great joy” the Lord has for you.