I was reading in Nehemiah this morning and in chapter 8, God's people have finished rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem and have gathered to celebrate. Ezra has found a copy of God's law and is reading it to the people. It's a powerful testimony to their faith as they hear God's Word read aloud and start to weep-not just a few of them, but the entire crowd. This is not a temporary moment however, as they return to the assembly three weeks later and make a covenant with God to be His people once more.
Reading this causes me to wonder about our reaction when we come face-to-face with God-whether that is through the teaching of His Word, through worship, other people or serving those around us. The Israelites who had been in exile were desperate for God's truth and the realization of how far from Him they had gone caused them great sorrow. The people in Nehemiah were not just reacting emotionally-they came back three weeks later to make a pledge to God to strive to be His people again.
What about us and the church today? How will we react when we are face to face with God and realize where we are in relation to where He wants us to be? Have we become so jaded in our Christian lives that we cannot create that same sense of longing when we encounter God? Will it be true repentance that we commit to following up with or simply an emotional reaction that is forgotten as soon as we leave the building?