Wonder with me what would happen this Sunday in churches across our troubled, needy world if…
- The people gathered as one man And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. (Nehemiah 8:1a) What if the rich and poor, black and white, educated and uneducated, healthy and unhealthy, grieving and rejoicing, Republican and Democrat, simple and wise, came together laying aside all differences. What if no one noticed clothes or cars, skin color or diplomas earned, political affiliation or personal taste. What if God’s people Sunday gathered with no distinction except for being the people of God.
- The people had one desire And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. (Nehemiah 8:1b) 45,000+ people gathered with one request of Ezra, their priest and scribe. Bring out the book! They wanted to hear from God. This marked a significant departure from Israel’s normal form of worship. Prior to this, their focus was on the temple with its grandeur and glory. Though the temple had been rebuilt, it wasn’t near as grand nor glorious as it once was. Their attention now turned to the Book, God’s law he had given them through Moses.
So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. (Nehemiah 8:1-3 ESV)
- The people had one response And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. (Nehemiah 8:5-6 ESV) They worshiped God. When they heard the words of God, they worshiped God. They didn’t look at their watches, play games on their smart phones, wonder where their neighbor bought the outfit they were wearing. They fell on their faces in awe of reverence of their great God. They worshiped the God of the book.
I wonder what would happen this Sunday if people showed up as one man with one desire and one response.