The Art of Perseverance: Nehemiah 8 (Let’s Get this Party Started!)
This part of Nehemiah has really got me thinking. (Yeah, it hurt a little.)
There are the common things, like birthdays (Happy Birthday, Jason! That’s my bro-in-law.) weddings, national holidays, and more.
We eat cake. (Absolutely nothing wrong there. Especially if it’s chocolate.) Drink punch. We have those awesome delicacies called “pigs-in-a-blanket.”
Then I read Nehemiah chapter 8. And it’s really got me thinking. Go ahead and click on that and give it a quick read.
Celebrate God’s Work
How many times do we do this? The Jews did all the time. They had feasts dedicated to the works of God. We’re not just talking a slice of cake and a glass of fruit punch. We’re talkin’ steak and potatoes every night for a week! Gifts given to each other in honor of God’s marvelous works!
This celebration was on the beginning of the seventh month–the feast of trumpets. This was the celebration of God’s mercy and forgiveness. It ushered in Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement.
For many years the Jewish people had not observed this as commanded by God. When Ezra read the Law of God from the Scriptures, they weeped and mourned. But Ezra comforted them, stating that this was to be a day of celebration for the great work of God.
Celebrate God’s Word
Here’s something else that caught my attention.
First of all, it was the people who asked for Ezra to read to them God’s Word. They had just completed an extraordinary task by the power of God in them, and now they wanted more from God.
The second thing is that when Ezra stood to read, they all stood. What honor!
What great honor they showed for God’s Word!
Then they partied! These people know how to party.
And they involved everyone in the celebration.
What Does This Mean?
Well, there’s quite a bit to glean from this. Lots of history here.
But one thing that stands out to me is how the Jews viewed God’s work and God’s Word.
They celebrated it.
They took it very seriously.
They were moved by it.
And so I think about our times to celebrate each Sunday morning.
I think about our motivation to arrive to the church building. How we sing the songs. How attentive we are to the hearing of God’s Word spoken and taught.
How serious do I take it? Do I celebrate these things?
Have they become chores to do, like taking out the trash?
Do I honor God’s work and Word?
The Jewish people were moved by these things. Are we moved when we gather to worship? Do we mourn our negligence of obeying God’s Word?
Do we celebrate the great things He has done?
I mean really celebrate! Like we do birthday parties and weddings!
Or have we calloused ourselves from expressing the emotions used to glorify Him? Emotions He created in us.
It’s Time to Celebrate!
I wanna give God glory by expressing my emotions of joy, happiness, gratitude! We should celebrate Him every Sunday when we’re together! For the joy of our Lord is our strength!
I don’t want my worship to be a chore. A ritual! I want it to be raw.
To be focused.
To be energetic!
What Do You Think?
Seriously. Leave a comment or two.