The last few days have seen our colleague writers touching on various parts of the struggle to complete the rebuild of the Temple and celebrate its final completion that is recorded in Ezra. Also in this passage we see the rulers return to the original document of King Darius which again cleared the way for the Temple to be completed.
Can I encourage you to turn to the book of Nehamiah and to read it in a couple of sittings knowing of the struggle against opponents who wanted the whole project to fail so that the people of God could not achieve what God wanted for them. This account provides a much more detailed understanding of the sorts of opposition and how the people of God worked together to achieve God’s aim for them.
Can I also note that here again are leaders or authorities who may not have been believers in God yet they were facilitating His work.
Paralleling Ezra is today’s Romans passage which talks about our responsibilities to the authorities God places over us and how we are to obey them. Even down to paying taxes. Then too this passage gives us instruction about how we are to treat our neighbours and how we are to live our lives.
So like you and I as we struggle to keep our minds, hearts and bodies on our task of building God’s church so we can see parallels between ourselves and the ancient God’s people who were rebuilding their church (or temple) for God.
I have been struck a number of times this week in our readings by how much these parallel readings suggest a picture of what we, yes you and I, are to do as we seek to influence our community and provide the strong opportunity for others to know God. So strongly do I see this parallel that the nine Key Mission Communities(KMC) we are embarking on are the tools which God has given us to engage with more of our local community to know better the one true God.
Taking the analogy further, as we love our neighbour as ourselves we seek to build them with us using the tools of KMC to become members of Christ’s church. So the new church of Christ grows by His grace.
I look forward expectantly to those coming days of celebration when we too can celebrate the completion of Christ’s church.