Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"See what the Lord has done"

Reading through the book of Nehemiah, chapter 3 is a list of those who helped rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. There is a lot of history behind this little book, but what is important to remember is that this is the story of a people returned from exile to find their ancestral capital city a desolation. To the returning Israelites, Jerusalem represented more than a city. It represented a promise between them and God. To repair the walls and rebuild the temple was to make a declaration about a renewed relationship, the revitalization of a community.
As I skimmed the list of names, there were feelings of excitement and awe for these people; I imagined the excitement they must have felt, the camaraderie, as they worked together throughout the city. Then, I came across an interesting note in verse 5, "The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors." What a tragedy! For decades, the men and women (yes, there were women who helped with the repairs) could walk through Jerusalem, look at the bricks, and say, "That was done by my own hands." The memories and the legacy for their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren would be amazing. These nobles cheated only themselves. The walls were rebuilt, because this was God's will for His people, but these men had no memories. They had no fellowship. They had no claim to the mighty work that was done.
The work of the City Rescue Mission is similar to that undertaken by Nehemiah so many years ago. Instead of rebuilding walls, we work to rebuild lives, to help renew relationships, and to revitalize members of our community. By your gifts and donations, you labor together with us. You are an integral part in the work of the Lord, in drawing people to Himself.
We are so appreciative of your gifts and your compassion, and I would encourage you to come, stroll through the Mission. Look at the walls and realize that your gifts helped build a sanctuary, a shelter for those in need. Read the newsletter and experience the stories of lives rebuilt because of your generosity. The first Thursday of the month, we have a director's luncheon for those who've never come to the Mission. Consider reserving a place or scheduling a tour at another time. Come and see what the Lord has done, what mighty work is taking place every day, with you as an important part of that work.

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