Nehemiah: Building the Kingdom of God
Nehemiah is the story of a great rebuilding effort. Under Nehemiah’s leadership the Israelites rebuild the city walls of Jerusalem and re-populate the city. It’s a historical account of an impressive civil engineering project and of effective governance and political maneuvering. But behind the historical data it’s a story of God using a particular leader and a particular people to build His Kingdom. The very real struggles of Nehemiah and the Jews of Jerusalem are part of a bigger story – God’s story – in which God had promised to restore His people to His land after their exile in Babylon.
We are at the beginning of a year in which the vestry and staff will be working with the consulting group TAG on a visioning process for the Church of the Good Samaritan. It exciting to be able to commit some time and energy together into discerning how God is calling us to build as His people in this particular time and place. We have as sure of a promise as in Nehemiah’s time. Jesus has promised to build His church, and to be with us even to the end of the age. But, just as in Nehemiah’s time, there is work for us to do. Each one of us is called to be a part of building the Kingdom of God.
As we read through Nehemiah there are some study notes each week for you to follow. The week’s theme and the reading we have in church head each page – but underneath is an invitation to read a longer section of the book of Nehemiah on your own. There is a short reflection on the passage and then some questions to think about as you come before God in prayer and turn over the passage in your mind, seeking to understand what the Holy Spirit is speaking into your life through this passage of Scripture. If you’re part of a small group there are some questions to discuss as a group – they presume you’ve read and thought about the passage prior to your small group reading. There are then some suggestions for prayer…
I’m praying for each of us, that God would use the book of Nehemiah to build us into his people at the beginning of a New Year… with blessings, Richard.