Sunday: Lines of Communication
Text: 18 All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.
19 Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!” (Nehemiah 4:18-20, NLT)
Nehemiah knew the importance of prayer, of remembering, and of being ready. But all those things can be done by individuals.
Today’s word reminds us that we are in this together.
We understand Nehemiah’s concern that we, like the workers on the wall, are widely separated from each other. We live in a time when the opportunities for connection abound, but we have never been more alone.
Just as the people needed to listen for the blast of the trumpet, we need to listen and come together.
We were created for relationship, with God and others. From one end of the Bible to the other we read that we are to be devoted to one another, and care for one another. The writer of Hebrews even admonishes the believers to not give up meeting together as some were in the habit of doing (see Hebrews 10:25).
We need to take advantage of the opportunities to worship and play, fellowship and study together, so that we will also be ready to do battle for and with one another.
Thursday How will you be remembered?
Text: Next were the people from Tekoa, though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors. (Nehemiah 3:5, NLT)
As you read through chapter three you will notice that people fall into one of two categories: those who worked or those who didn’t. The leaders of the people from Tekoa refused to work.
It says they refused to work with the construction supervisors. We’re not told if there was a problem or disagreement. We’re left to wonder and decide.
I think it’s to the people’s credit, however, that whatever the leaders’ reasons were for not working might have been, the people went to work anyway.
Can you hear them? “We’ll be out here getting the work done when you folks get things worked out.”
The way these leaders hung back from the work reminds me of the women in the Philippian church, Euodia and Syntyche, who will forever be remembered for their inability to get along.
God has called us to join him in his work. How will we be remembered? As those who joined in and got things done or as ones who refused to get along?
While that title might lead one to believe that I am thankful for the slowly decreasing price on gas again…and while I am that for sure, this is about something completely different.
I am thankful for the beautiful maple trees around my house. We have seven very large and mature maple trees: four in the front and three on the side. I love their shade in the summer. I love the canopy of green that covers me as I sit out on my front patio. Before I ever got inside this house, I was drawn to it because of the trees.
I love the beautiful leaves in the fall. The colors are warm, all yellow, orange, and red. And we end up with a whopping leaf pile!!! Today was the end of the leaf pile. Nelson, Asher, and I spent a couple hours out front blowing, raking, and shoveling leaves. I find it easier to move the heavy wet leaves by shoveling them to the edge of the street (we don’t have curbs, because we have no sidewalk). It was fun to work together. And it was really nice to see the front patio and flower beds leaf-free.
Time with family. Leaf-free front patio. And a two hour work out. It’s all good and I’m all thank-full!