19 And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. 20 In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” – Nehemiah 4:19-20
Do you ever feel isolated? Disconnected? Alone?
Nehemiah 4 says God's people were “separated…far from one another.”
Have you ever thought about our footprint as a church? Based on what we know about where many of us work and live, during the week, when we’re away from 504 E. 12th Street, we spread out over more than 2,500 square miles. And this is a conservative estimate.
Now think about the number of people with whom you interact on a daily basis. Clients, patients, students, teachers, coworkers, neighbors, your family, friends, the cashier at the store, the barista at the coffee shop...based on the average interactions each American has daily, we, as a church, are interacting with more than 4,500 human beings PER DAY. Again, this is a conservative estimate.
The work is GREAT and WIDELY spread, friends. And as we go about our daily lives, we enter into places and spaces and engage with people who need true and lasting hope – hope found only in the Jesus we know. But we encounter obstacles, hardships, etc. We willingly enter into our own suffering and the suffering of others as we bring the kingdom of God to earth – as we “build the wall.” We’re in a battle!
But we’re not called to this work – to this battle – alone.
Nehemiah says, “In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” The workers were dispersed to their assigned portions of the wall, but the moment they heard the trumpet, they left their places on the wall and unified to defeat the attacking enemy.
Notice that THEY weren’t doing the defeating. Nehemiah made it clear that GOD Himself would fight for them. Because ultimately this isn't OUR work. It's His!
In biblical times, the trumpet often signified an alarm of war, a call to assemble, or a command to march.
Friends, the trumpet is sounding. The work is great and widely spread, and we are in desperate need of regular rallying!
We don’t gather on Sundays to summon our own will to make it through the week.
We don’t gather on Sundays to build ourselves up based on what we have to offer.
We gather together on Sundays – and throughout the week – to declare to and for each other that God will fight for us. We gather together to surrender our will to His will. We gather together to invite His will to become our will, and for our will to become His will. We gather together to declare how great and awesome He is, and to pour out our thankfulness as we meditate on our adoption as His sons and daughters. We gather together to be effective in our scattering, as we go about the great and widely spread work – through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, to the glory of our God who fights for us!
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:25
We need each other, and even more importantly, we need our God. Let’s rally this Sunday. Join us. 10 AM.