Speaking to the Soul – June 29

Community worship

For the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, the Levites throughout the land were asked to come to Jerusalem to assist in the ceremonies. They were to take part in the joyous occasion with their songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres. Nehemiah 12:27

The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem was an incredibly significant moment and we are given a wonderful picture of the people’s celebrations. The Levites had the responsibility for leading worship and so they came to Jerusalem from all over the country for this special moment. There was a wide range of musical instruments, and Nehemiah organised the singers into two choirs who walked in different directions around the walls of the city. Nobody was left out. It must have been a great deal of fun.

The whole Bible is punctuated with times of exuberant worship. It is no surprise that, when John received his vision of heaven, it was in the form of the most amazing wedding banquet. John records: “I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in heaven shouting, ‘Praise the Lord! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God’” (Revelation 19:1). It is wonderful that we have our own personal experiences of God, but we also remember that we are part of something much bigger.

We may not see another Christian today, but the praise that we offer is part of a great chorus of worship that is rising to God from all over the world. When we break bread and remember Jesus’ death on the cross, we are united with every single Christian – from those who have recently found salvation, to those who are slipping away from this life. Even when it is impossible to meet with other Christians because of personal circumstances, we remember that great multitude with whom we are completely united through our love for God. In an amazing way we stand today in unity with Nehemiah and the people as they offered their noisy, enthusiastic worship long ago.

In what ways does God bless you when you worship with other people?

Great God of wonders, I worship you and thank you for uniting me with all your people in every time and place. Amen