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Day 37 Wednesday, Apr. 1st

Nehemiah 8:7-8

7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. 8 So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

 

GATHERING FOR THE WORD Time and circumstance had greatly impacted the community of Jerusalem.  While there may have been a few who survived to return home after 70 years in exile, the vast majority of the city’s returnees were born in a foreign land and had little knowledge of the tenets, language and customs of their faith.  They were Jewish by heritage and parentage, but little else in terms of daily practice, resembled their Jewish faith.  Yet, what they lacked in terms of the trappings of their faith, they made up for through their expressed desire to know the ways of their Lord.  Just as they had given themselves in service to complete the work of restoring the city’s wall, they were now seeking to be restored to the God of their salvation and restoration through his holy word.  As Ezra begins reading the Law of Moses aloud in Hebrew, the Levites translate and interpret the word to the people in Aramaic, the common language of the day, so that all would come away with understanding.   Have you gained or grown as you anticipated at the start of this Lenten season?  Or, have you discovered that the changes the Lord has been working in you have impacted more than your waistline or your bottom line. Whenever I enter into a learning experience, I almost invariably come away with something I anticipated along with a few things that cause me to think differently, act differently, stretch and live life today beyond the known and familiar of my yesterdays. It is the promise of living a renewed life in God to which the people of Jerusalem have opened themselves in today’s text.  And, it is a renewed life of blessings and understanding that will stretch us beyond the known and familiar of our yesterdays that the Lord God has been inviting us to throughout our Lenten journey.  
  1. What new and unfamiliar place (i.e. thing, opportunity or situation) has the Lord been encouraging you to explore in relation to your Lenten focus?
  2. How might daring to journey into the unfamiliar during this Lenten experience positively impact your life in other areas in the future?
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LET US PRAY

Lord God, I pray that you continue to renew our minds through your holy word.  Help us to be open to the possibilities and promise that we can only know and experience in you through faith.  We take comfort in knowing you, for you are the one who has and will complete the good work you have begun in our lives.

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