Nehemiah 8:1-2,5-6, 9-10
1 All the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate and told Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 Accordingly, Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people, and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord, and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
When we gather as God’s people and we pay attention to coming into the presence of the living and holy God and center our hearts and minds on God’s Word and offer ourselves to God, we will change over time. Then and only then can we be transformed into the likeness of Christ and can become an example and servant for others. God does not need us to adore God, but we do. Adoration of God unleashes in us the vitality of God, the humility of Jesus, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God!
Rev. Carol D. Sparks
Hate Hurts. Grace Heals. Love Wins!