Speaking to the Soul – June 25

Worship Together

Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Nehemiah 8:6

The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in just 52 days was an amazing achievement. But Nehemiah was quite clear that there was something that was even more important – ensuring that God was at the centre of the city’s life. In this chapter, Ezra the priest addresses all the people, bringing out the book of the Law of Moses. This may refer to the whole of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) or perhaps just the book of Deuteronomy. What we know for certain is that Ezra read for three hours. This was quite a marathon, but it is recorded that the “people listened closely to the Book of the Law” (v3).

We read that Ezra stood above the people and, as he opened the book, the people all stood up and praised God. What an amazing moment that must have been as the people lifted up their hands in worship and shouted: “Amen! Amen!” and then bowed down with their faces to the ground. It is, of course, possible for us to worship God by ourselves, but to do so in a corporate setting is such a great encouragement. It is a powerful expression of our unity and our shared dependence upon God. God’s people have always worshipped together and we must treasure every opportunity we are given to do so.

We learned a great deal during the pandemic about the importance of worshipping together. Who would ever have thought that the day might come when we would not be able to gather in our churches? And in those times when we were able to meet, that it would be illegal to sing songs of worship? But, despite all the restrictions, God’s people continued to worship him. What an amazing testimony it was to our nation that, even when we were not able to worship together in one place, we continued to worship God together online. You simply can’t stop God’s people from praising him!

Why is worshipping God together important to you?

Dear Father, thank you for the privilege of being able to worship you. Help me to treasure every opportunity of worshipping with my Christian brothers and sisters. Amen