As I've been teaching through Nehemiah over the past several weeks in our Sunday night "Nightlight" service the parallels with the Old Covenant community and the New Covenant community are undeniable. Nehemiah set out to rebuild a city and in 52 days amazingly the wall around Jerusalem was completed. Of course the bigger job was rebuilding or re-covenanting the community. It was the community of God's people bound in covenant that served as a witness to the world of God's glory.
This communal witness is also the church's charge to keep. The way we worship, the way we serve one another, and the way we live and speak bears witness to the world of God rule over and in our lives. Our witness is not in a wall and it is not in programs, buildings, but in our community built on the Word of God. I long for this community fleshed out in genuine relationships. I'm so thankful for friendships in my church family but there are still so many who are strictly event-attenders (morning worship, Sunday School, etc) and not invested in each other's lives. I long to see the kind of authentic community throughout our membership that is not built around attending programs and events but is reflective of what Luke described in Acts 2 or Paul in Romans 12. Of course this only happens as we are constantly nourished on Scripture. I love what John Piper said of his call to ministry, "I am enthralled by the reality of God and the power of His Word to create authentic people." Amen.