Nehemiah and Spiritual Heartbreak

Zerubbabel - Abiud - Eliakim

Zerubbabel – Abiud – Eliakim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Building Blocks

REFLECTION: remembering the main points

  • Together with Zerubbabel and Ezra, Nehemiah contributes to restoring Jerusalem from ruin and ridicule
  • Nehemiah seemed to be an intercessor: standing in the gap (in prayer) between people and God
  • 4 factors seemed to motivate and inspire his intercession: His identity as a Jew, his intensity in feeling the pain of destruction and his intimacy with God

DISCUSSION: choose one or more questions

  • As you watched the unfolding drama in Paris – what did you think/feel?
  • How does Nehemiah’s context compare to your/our context today?
  • If you would have been Nehemiah – what would you have been tempted
    to do/not do?
  • Do you sense a call of God in your location and vocation?
  • Is crying the only way to demonstrate the effect of intense spiritual heartbreak?
  • What tools/tips can help us grow in our intimacy with God?

APPLICATION: ideas that work

  • What could be identifies as ‘ruins’ in our local communities?
  • Will determine to live as intercessors for those ruins? What will that mean for the Life Group? Long term, not just as a one-off?

Super Poem by a Friend of One of Our Pastors for New Year’s Eve


New Year’s Eve By Matthew Joseph Burt

It is the midnight of the months
The second hand of years
The resetting of the clocks
Where all the world
Wind themselves up
To forget the previous moments
Good and Sour
The stolen seconds
A dozen Eleventh hours,
The weakness of weeks,
Catalogued, categorized,
By calendar,

And again, begin again,
To gain a beginning,

Zero zero; zero zero,
Grounded and returned
No matter what bridges we’ve burned
What elementary lessons
Have had to be relearnt,
What heights have been fallen from
Or the depths from which we have been scraped up,
Time is on a pinnacle
A pinhead,
A seesaw balance
Between regret and hope
Past glory and potential future failures,

We reset like cooling Jelly,
taken out, to melt,
In summers warm belly,
And remoulded
and chilled once more,

How soon we forget
That every new year
Will be an old year later,
Forgotten  and left
Like past lovers
And childhood vows of devotion
Droplets consumed
In the waters of the Ocean of time,
Afloat, on this boat
On this vast sea of rhymes
Of new years past and present
Reveries hideous and pleasant

The Year of the snake
Sheds its skin
The Russian doll
Of the truth within

That the journey of Transformation
Is not in leaving one place
For another destination,
But it is a peeling back of the layers
Skinning the years one by one
until finally
The raw and glistening core
is exposed to the elements
And at last we see
The Terrible and beautiful truth
Of who we really are
And what we really need,

And naked and raw
Shelled and in awe
I raise my hand
To the God of sea and land
The potentate of time
In this rightful state of mind
And touch his grace.