Building the Wall of Jerusalem
In preparation for this Sunday’s message, I was reading Nehemiah chapter 3. This is one of those chapters that it would be easy to gloss over to get to something more interesting. It is basically an account of who build what part of the Jerusalem wall.
As I continued to read, I was struck by the fact that there were many people involved. For instance, Jehoiada, son of Paseah and Medullam, son of Besodeiah were responsible for building the Jeshanna Gate. Now that was worth coming to church this morning to learn, wasn’t it?
And who could forget the work of Shallom and his daughters? (Were they in the union?) How about the son of Abzuk who was tasked with building directly across from the tombs?
Seriously, either the Jews were all general contractors and tradesmen, or this is the narrative of a whole group of people taking ownership of the responsibility to see to it that the building was accomplished.
My lack of expertise with all things mechanical is legendary. Men hide the power tools when they see me coming. Yet, I have the responsibility to see to it that the building of the Church takes place, both literally and figuratively.
I think that this third chapter of Nehemiah is all about family and community and personal responsibility. Family next to family, Levite next to Priest; that is how they got it done. Each family did their part, literally their section of the wall.
As we get into this topic, I want you to remember that this is an historical account of a physical construction project, the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. It is also however, about the walls of our personalities being rebuilt by the Holy Spirit. I think it is fascinating that this process does not happen in isolation. It happens in community.
Would you hand me another brick?