Hope your week is going great. We had such a great time getting together last Sunday. It was fun being together and hearing where you are at on the journey.
Today we start the book of Ezra. Ezra and Nehemiah captures the story of the people of God returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and temple. Simply put, Ezra and his crew is the story of the the people rebuilding the temple and Nehemiah is the story of the people rebuilding the walls of the city. We will read them back to back.
Below is a short primer for the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Take a few minutes and watch it to give you a foundation of these books.
I also wrote a little devotional based on Ezra 3 a couple years ago. If you want, you can read it below:
In the book of Ezra in the Old Testament we see a story of God's people returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple that Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed. In Ezra 3 we get this beautiful account of the foundation of the new temple being laid.
Listen to how the people apart of this project responded:
"With praise thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away." Ezra 3:11-13
Their response was worship. Some were shouting for joy and others who were older and had seen the first temple were weeping for joy at what God was going.
Now, what's different about our story is that it doesn't have anything to do with a building or brick and mortar. Our story is one of joining God in his mission of building the church. It's about people.
So here's our prayer for City View...
Our prayer is that as we lay the foundation we would respond like those rebuilding the temple in Ezra. Our prayer is that every baptism, person who trusts Jesus, every song sung and sermon experienced, every Community Group started, every person that is served, every child that experiences the kingdom of God, in everything there would be a combination of shouts and weeping at all that God is doing. Our prayer is that, as we see in Ezra, we would make some noise!