Read: Nehemiah 3:1, Nehemiah 3:8, Nehemiah 3:12, Nehemiah 3:17, Nehemiah 3:27, Nehemiah 3:32

Nehemiah devotes a whole chapter in which he lists the names of those who helped to rebuild the wall and the gates of the city. For a project as important as this, he creates a virtual “Memorial Wall of Fame.” While we may not recognize the names or even be able to pronounce them, we get the general idea: each person worked side by side encouraged and motivated by a tireless and charismatic leader.

Nobody was above getting their hands dirty. Not the priests, nor those in business. Not the women who wanted to help out. Not the men who oversaw town matters, nor the others whose titles did not get mentioned. Some, having done a first stint, signed up to do an additional job. They started at Sheep Gate, continued in a circle, and ended at Sheep Gate. Each place the wall looped was a worker, diligently building and repairing—united by a common cause—the fortification of the wall.

According to Nehemiah’s list, the work began with the high priest (the church). What do you see as the church’s role in matters of urban renewal? Economic revival? Social justice?

If your house of worship is not actively engaged in making conditions better for the poor, pray about it, and consider how God might use you to lead an effort, with the blessing of your leadership. Volunteering with a reputable organization in your city is also a viable alternative. Pray: Lord, thank you for giving us different gifts. Let us be mindful that they function best when used in community to benefit others.


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