This summer, we are so grateful for the people in our congregation who have chosen to serve by facilitating the repair of some of our outer walls. The heart of repairing is something interesting to ponder, and the book of Nehemiah is a great place for study and meditation.
"After him Baruch son of Zabbai diligently repaired another section, from the Angle to the door of hte house of the high priest Eliashib. Beside him Meremoth son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz, made repairs to another section, from the door of Eliashib's house to the end of his house. and next to him the priests from the surrounding area made repairs."
On Pastor Russ’ recommendation, I decided last fall to begin page by page to read through the whole bible. Not to do it once, but to make a habit of reading and rereading, day by day, page by page, for the rest of my life.
This isn’t a new idea. Psalm 1:2 says, “Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” The Hebrew word for meditate is yehgeh (pronounced haga), and its usage in other parts of the bible helps us to step out of the modern meaning that we ascribe to meditate. In Isaiah 31:4, we find a lion growling (yehgeh) over its prey. In Isaiah 38:14, we find a dove moaning (‘ehgeh). In Job 27:4, we find Job refusing to utter (yehgeh) deceit. There is a picture of focus with a growling, cooing or muttering. So day by day, I take God’s word, and I growl, coo and mutter it to myself. I meditate on it.
(If you like rabbit trails as I apparently do, I recommend downloading the Bible Hub app. This rabbit trail was brought to you by interlinear search starting at Psalm 1:2.)
Back to the main trail. I find in this daily meditating that I find more growling than cooing when I reach genealogies or repetitive lists of names. Nehemiah 3 is definitely one of these passages. So and so made this repair at this location, repeat. Growl, not this boring stuff again. So I pray, Jesus, help me read this with God’s eyes, He put it in His word, help me not skip by.
Then I started to see this picture of a multitude of people, precious enough to God to have their name listed in God’s word, working diligently on the section of the wall of Jerusalem. Often they are working on the section nearest to their home. When the repetition finishes, you find that you have completed the wall encircling Jerusalem.
What a beautiful image of a community coming together, with what they have, in unity. Each committed to a common goal of rebuilding the wall but engaged in that task in their own specific location with their neighbours.
We, as the church, share the common goal that Jesus sets before us in Matthew 28:19. We work with the neighbours we have been given at South Calgary Community Church. We use the tools at hand in our context.
What tools? Praying. Reading our Bible. Coming to Church. Sharing what God is doing in your life. I hope and pray you will pick these up and join the rebuilding.