WEEK 1, DAY 2: COMING BACK
We Are Still Whom We Are by Martha Christian, Broadway United Methodist Church
Scripture Reference: Ezra 2
Generations of Israelites had lived in Babylonian captivity, exiled for 128 years. King David’s majestic temple was destroyed and they were driven from the land Yahweh had promised them, but they were coming back.
While these people estimated millions when leaving Egypt, they had now dwindled to family groups so small they were listed by name and number. They were the faintest remnant of their nation, but they were coming back home, in the intentional units of families and calling, showing God’s great faithfulness and care for the life and prosperity of God’s chosen people.
Coming Back Home
Today, God’s people find ourselves in a similar moment. For years Christianity has been in rapid decline, particularly in the US, with younger generations leaving or just never darkening the doors of churches. BUT, there are many coming back home.
This moment, there are more people praying than in previous days. We have practices and evils once protected by darkness coming to light. Justice and mercy are cries heard from people who don’t yet know those are the very cries of God’s heart.
Today, we come in humility, acknowledging our own idols and desires that have taken us from reflecting God’s justice and goodness in our world. We come to rebuild the temples of our own selves, the dwelling places of God for the redemption of the world. We come with a passion to reestablish our place of purpose in our communities, to join with others for the sake of God’s great Name.
Lord in Heaven,
You God, are ultimate authority over all, seen, unseen, and you’ve called your people to rise up and be your people, a city on a hill, a beacon of hope for a dying and broken world. Lord, we have been so wrapped up in our individual identities we have forgotten we are Your body, with You as our head. We have fought battles not intended for us to fight. We have relied on our own strength and our own understanding to the point that we don’t reflect You to the world.
Have mercy on us. Reignite in us the power of your Holy Spirit. Draw your Jesus people together, in one heart, with one purpose, with one Savior we offer to the world.
Give us creativity to innovate in this time. We have a world watching to see what we will do! Convict our hearts of places we’ve allowed fear to reign. Give us great clarity and boldness to walk in our unique callings as the members of Your body! Captivate our hearts as we bring You worship in every moment of every day. May our lives be a reflection of Your power, Your Love, Your Redemption and Your transformation of Your world, for Your Glory. Amen