The rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem is one of my favorite Old Testament accounts. (Nehemiah 3-6) The Jews worked together, each taking a section, and the wall went up in 52 days. I hope they had fun.
When I was a teenager, my family would take part in the semi-annual church clean-up. Like many churches, the members of the fellowship would get together on a Saturday to paint and repair, spring clean and plant flowers around our church property. There were jobs for all of us to do, no matter what age we were. I remember laughter and teasing, a covered dish lunch, the smell of Endust and newly cut grass. We had fun.
Was it like that for the Jews as they worked shoulder to shoulder with their neighbors on rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem? Did they make it a game, a contest to see who could carry the largest boulder? Did they joke with each other? Did they stop for lunch together?
The Bible tells us bullies tried to intimidate them into stopping their work. Did the Jews talk about Sanballat and Tobiah as they took a break from their work in the hot sun over a cool drink of water? Did they encourage one another to ignore the threats? I know they determined to protect each other.
I think this is a picture of what our churches should look like. People working shoulder to shoulder to share Jesus in the neighborhood, encouraging one another, supporting one another.
And having fun doing it.
Does the neighborhood surrounding your church property see a group of people who love one another and who enjoy serving God together? I hope they see a pick-up soccer game in the parking lot once in a while. I hope they hear laughter and occasionally smell the fragrance of hamburgs on the grill. I hope they see a building cared for and loved by the people who call it their church home. And I hope they are drawn to your fellowship because of it.
The Jews rebuilt that wall in 52 days. Pretty amazing. God has amazing things for our church fellowships to do, too. May he find us faithful doing his work with joy.