Today, I have been reading the book of Nehemiah; the story of how God’s people worked together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonian conquest in 587 BC. All of God’s people, men and women, did their bit and helped rebuild the walls of the ransacked city. Some rebuilt the stones and some rebuilt the gates. Some were nice bits (the Valley Gate) and some were not nice bits (the Dung Gate). The account in chapter 3 of Nehemiah tells us that there were priests who worked alongside rulers. Perfume makers worked alongside goldsmiths. Ordinary people alongside merchants. All kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds, some came from neighbouring towns and villages to help but they all came together to work side by side. All these people were commended for taking part in the work, not for how much or how little they did.
What a wonderful picture of God’s people, working to do what they could with the strength, resources and time they had been given, to rebuild what had been lost.
When we look around us we can all see evidence of brokenness. Damaged families, broken relationships, few opportunities, isolation and loneliness and we witness the anger, hurt and retaliation which often comes as a result. We can also experience the pain of this brokenness ourselves.
Jesus came to rebuild. He is the only one who can rebuild us, remake us and remould us. He offers this hope to us because he loves us. As we open ourselves to his Lordship, we experience how he is building God’s kingdom through transforming our brokenness and setting us free to share his love with others.
Even though we can’t see it as clearly as a wall made of bricks and mortar, we can all be involved in building God’s kingdom here in Redcar. In all kinds of ways and daily situations, we can be the hands who reach out to help another; the kind word or listening ear to relieve another’s burden; the gentle word of correction when we witness injustice. We are God’s people in Christ. The church. The expression of himself here on the earth and we can all be involved, working side by side, doing our bit to help rebuild that which has been torn down, trodden on, broken or lost.