“This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.”Nehemiah 8:9
There I stood, looking at the ruins. All around me was evidence that this was once a place of laughter, friendships, and love. But now, this city was but a pile of rubbish. The memories of something great haunted me.
The king’s love was strong; he would not abandon his city. The king showed up.
He came with a vision and a heart to restore, and he moved Nehemiah’s heart to begin the work.
I’ve been reading the book of Nehemiah, and it’s a beautiful story of what God did through Nehemiah for the people in Jerusalem.
In chapter eight, we pick up the story after the wall has been restored. In chapter eight, the people assembled for the reading of the law. As the law was read, the people sorrowed because of sin and loss. Yet as they mourned, the leaders told them not to sorrow but to feast. You see, the heart of God rejoices over those who return to his love.
Like the Israelites, we are well aware of our lost time and potential.
The story of the prodigal comes to mind. When the prodigal son returns, the father has a feast to celebrate his return.
Maybe you are feeling upset over life choices. Sorrow and shame fill your heart. I want you to know that Jesus restores. Like Nehemiah riding into town to restore the city, Jesus rides into our lives.
That is God, and he is always pursuing us. God is kind, and he is good.
I want you to know spring is near for those who have wandered, and your life seems bare like trees in winter. That word in your heart is like a new sprout ready for spring.
Don’t mourn your loss but rejoice in the Lord!
Jesus was flesh and blood, and his resurrection was flesh and blood. Jesus is real and tangible, and when we practice communion, we are reminded by the bread and wine that Jesus is tangible. The elements are physical evidence of the start of something extraordinary.
The reality of our faith is fleshed out in all we are and do. The scriptures say, “and of his fullness, we have all received.”
You have mourned the loss in life.
You have sorrowed over lost time.
You have seen the hurt and destruction of war.
You have mourned because things should have been different.
Rejoice! You are loved, and your redemption draws near.
He will heal the brokenhearted.
He rebuilds old waste places.
He turns water into wine.
By his stripes, we are healed.
Take the elements; bread and wine.
Remember him and rejoice, for he is doing a new work.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,Isaiah 42:9
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them.