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“I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
C. S. Lewis
We will be reading through Nehemiah 7:1-73
The wall is built. God’s people, all 50,000+ of them are safe and sound at home. Not in someone else’s land where they were learning a different culture. Not under a foreign king. They were home and it was all due to God’s plan and the actions of the faithful. And with any homecoming, specific duties needed to be assigned.
After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed.
I realize this is another long chapter with a whole lot of names that have little significance, but take a minute to read through the names and come back. Now, I want you to do an exercise in your church’s context. Maybe you do it individually, maybe you do it as a whole church technology team, but this next part is important: name as many families in your church as you possibly can, last names only and as best as possible, mimic the lineage list with how many are in each family.
This account that Nehemiah had listed was the first census of Jerusalem, the same census that would eventually bring Mary and Joseph to Nazareth where Jesus was born. It is the same list of lineage that will be in the book of Life in heaven as God welcomes us in. Names are tough to hold significance… until they hold everything.
The people on your list, I don’t know them. But to you, they are everything. They are why you are serving at your church: to help them hear the Gospel more clearly, to lead them into worship more thoroughly, to be restored on a day where things were so bleak. That’s because of you. Not a general congregation that is impersonal, but a list of names, of hearts, of people who have been changed and souls who have been renewed because of your servant’s heart.
Use these reflection questions for the comments section.
- What can you do with this list? Pray over them during training or before you start to run the soundboard? Etc.
- A list like this puts everything back into context. What further refocusing do you (individually and as a team) need to do?
- I’ve asked this before, but I want to return to it now in context of this list. Why do you serve?