December 26, 2019·Deborah Clark
Merry Christmas to you! Whatever your day looks like, I pray you are able to take time to reflect on the birth of Jesus and the absolute joy that really is to the world — to me and to you!
In our Pause reading this week, we’re in the Book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah is leading the people to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Chapter 3 is a list of those who were building the wall, and it’s tempting to just skim through this section. But, if you take your time, you will notice there are individuals, families and groups who are working on the wall. There are goldsmiths and perfume makers, alongside rulers of districts, working next to priests and temple servants, just to name a few.
We see many different people working in groups alongside each other. They all had the same goal, working toward one purpose: They were rebuilding the wall. And they gave it their all. Chapter 4, verse 6 tells us they “rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”
Throughout chapter 3, as it lists the builders, it repeats over and over, next to him, next to him, next to them. The people were working side by side, giving it their all.
It’s a little like the Church, don’t you think? Many different individuals, from all different backgrounds and careers, working side by side toward one goal — to encounter Jesus and to help others do the same.
There are so many different expressions of this in our church. Whether we are side by side in a Sunday morning worship service, or praying at a small group in someone’s home, or serving on the media team, or teaching our kids a lesson from the Bible, or showing up to make coffee or help with the weekly food distribution…. I could go on and on. The point is, we are all part of this amazing thing called the Church, and we get to work and serve alongside others in this great journey.
As we celebrate Christmas and get ready to welcome a new year, I’m encouraged that I am not alone. We are in this together, and my prayer for 2020 is that we will experience great unity, as we stand next to each other and work with all our heart to see our neighbors and our city come to know Jesus.
Pastor Deborah Clark