Focal passage: Nehemiah 8:9-12; 12:27-31a
Serving God includes celebrating His great work. On Friday mornings you can almost always spot me purchasing an overpriced latté at the drive-thru of my favorite coffee shop.
I know I can make delicious coffee at home for a fraction of the price, but sometimes you just need to celebrate making it through the week!
All the way to work and for most of the morning, as I sip my caffeinated treat, I’m reminded of how thankful I am for the challenges I’ve overcome and the relaxing weekend ahead. I love to celebrate my job success, but Nehemiah and the people in Jerusalem are an example to us of how we should always remember to celebrate the great work God chooses to do in and through us as we serve Him.
After the completion of the wall in Jerusalem, Ezra the priest read the book of the Law to the people.
As those listening began to hear and understand, they worshipped and repented, convicted of their sin. This was a good and right response to God’s holiness, and yet, the Levites instructed the people to stop mourning. Instead, they said, “do not grieve because the joy of the Lord is your stronghold” (Nehemiah 8:10).
The people responded with repentance and celebration when the Law was read. And then later, when the wall of Jerusalem was dedicated to God, a joyous celebration began.
Musicians from throughout the region gathered to sing and play for God’s glory.
The priests purified themselves, the people, the gates and the wall.
Then Nehemiah brought the leaders to the top of the wall and “appointed two large processions that gave thanks” (Nehemiah 12:31).
Perhaps you don’t like overpriced lattés; I’m not suggesting you join me in my weekly splurge. But these men and women were not merely celebrating the end of a challenging work week.
They were celebrating the One who had provided for and protected them as they followed His plan in obedience.
As we serve the Lord, let’s be intentional to celebrate Him – the One who made us and called us and allows us to participate in His great work.