This morning we all came together after the summer holidays. There was a gentleness about the mood of the morning, a quiet calm before the season of work begins. People seemed content but ready.
Johnny shared from the book of Nehemiah regarding the preparation that went into repairing the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah enquired of the Lord what he would have him do about the state of the walls. In the light of some of the atrocities and sad situations that we are aware of in the world rebuilding walls almost seems frivolous. But walls were very important then. Walls protected, marked out territory, and gave people somewhere to belong.
Nehemiah led the people while they stood against ridicule and oppression during the reconstructive work. As Johnny said they worked with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other; the sword representing the word of God, used in spiritual battles.
We are moving into a new season. As yet we do not know what will be required of us. But just like those people back then we must first seek God, then we should pull together, working towards the common goal.
The walls we are building are the walls of the kingdom. God protects us, marks us as different from other people and we belong to him. Within this work, some of us, like Nehemiah, will have to learn to lead others, being brave and bold. Other of us will work on the walls with a sword and a trowel in hand.
Johnny encouraged us to read about Nehemiah in preparation for the new season. I trust that the Lord will speak to us all as we wait on Him.