Introduction to the Nehemiah series.
It starts out as a short report to Nehemiah – without PowerPoint no less – but quickly expands into a dramatic action adventure. It is a story about courage and defeat, unlikely heroes, and persistent villains. Men, women, and children come together under extraordinary circumstances. It is a time of hope and struggle, victory and setbacks, of worship and prayer.
They all find themselves in God’s story; His creative goodness.
In 586 BC Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon under king Nebuchadnezzar II; and the Jews in the region of Judah were exiled from their land. In 539 BC, Cyrus the Great led the Persians in defeating Babylon. One year later, 538 BC, Cyrus issues a decree allowing Israelites to return to Jerusalem, nearly 50 years after they were defeated and exiled. The two books of Ezra and Nehemiah often considered one book, are the account of their return. The book of Ezra describes the rebuilding of the temple, the book of Nehemiah describes the rebuilding of Jerusalem. But, because of God’s creative goodness, much more than a temple or city are rebuilt.
Welcome to our new major sermon series from the book of Nehemiah, “Rebuild: God’s Creative Goodness.”
The doctrine of church (ecclesiology) is developed within the diversity of men, women, and children; marriage and home life. The doctrine of scripture (Bibliology) is developed and the Israelites become “the people of the book.” All of this unfolds within the context of God’s covenant-relationship with people.
God desires to express His creative goodness to us, and in our midst too. ‘Rebuild’ implies the existence of something but the desire and activity to improve. This is a time of rebuild for us; rebuild of our faith; relationships; ministries and mission, perhaps even our facilities; a time for the renewal of hope, submission, and commitment.
But, you ask, how is obedience and commitment (especially the Old Testament) relevant today? How can we recognize God’s creative goodness? What does it mean to be church; to live as people of God? What is the impact, purpose, and value of Scripture, or prayer? This and many more questions will be explored during this series.
My hope is together we will realize anew, appreciate, and be inspired by God’s story we find ourselves in. My hope is the Lord will rebuild our lives, our church, and our community in all cases to be a stronger people and community and experience His blessing and glory.