“By night…I examined the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down and its gates…destroyed by fire”. (Nehemiah 2:13)
It’s time for wall reconstruction, from “mission to metro”, from the church to the suburbs, from the school-house to the manicured lawns. Yes, from “Mission to Metro”. Walls were significant emblems of power and authority in both Bible and modern times. They kept out marauders, and separated people of different political persuasions. Jericho had a wall, so did Jerusalem. We recall the Berlin Wall that divided Germany, and the great wall of China. In the United States, we know of a famous wall. Sometimes walls fall into disrepair. Each of our institutions is like a wall guarding and promoting our message, re-tooling students and church members for battle. Walls must be expanded and strengthened for “mission to metro”—school-walls, church-walls, health-walls, personal walls, resource walls, financial walls, strategic plan walls and more. Nehemiah 2-7, reveals a scintillating story of wall construction and five construction phases. Nehemiah is unable to sleep or eat—he feels that God is calling him, as He does us, to rebuild, revamp, revive and resuscitate. He sets on a tour alone, at first.
Inspect—Nehemiah sets out to inspect—sometimes we’ve got to inspect what is happening or not happening and repair. (Nehemiah 2:17-18). “Come, let us rebuild”, despite the talk and rife speculation.
Prospect—Nehemiah has the vision of what can happen. “The God of Heaven will give us success. Nehemiah organizes, and starts rebuilding in several places, simultaneously. He revamps the wall for a better wall, and wider purpose. As an example, the priests start at the Sheep Gate—any priestly builders in the house today?
Expect—there are clear expectations—each group of men has a specific part of the wall to build, and some are armed with swords and untiring zeal, and indefatigable urge. They rest not, even for a change of clothing. Such urgency of heightened expectation.
Collect—There is a stewardship that accompanies any rebuilding effort—it costs; the sweet spirit of sacrifice shines forth—labor, finances, planned giving all come into play. Restore all that you may have exacted; give back the fields; don’t charge usury. Nehemiah too makes a sacrifice–he does not accept the taxes due him.
Reflect—The wall got built; Nehemiah took time to reflect and review, evaluate and correct glaring issues. What about us in these last days? We have a “mission to metro”, to all those areas around us, and to fulfill that mission, we’ve got to rebuild, reorganize, strategize and technologize by faith and full effort. Metro Atlanta, comes to mind—growing at 89,000 souls annually—big city, big opportunity, bigger God. May God strengthen our hands to rebuild, re-tool and re-train for “mission to metro”. The greatest tool is YOU, ME and US. Walls of Zion, rise up—walk about Zion. I am singing with Wintley Phipps. https://youtu.be/Xw-JruuJUOg