Last time we looked in as the high priest’s home and a section of the wall were rebuilt together, reminding us the Spirit inside gives us strength to look outside our own interests and love beyond ourselves.
Today we see the next section being rebuilt by kohen – chief ministers of the region. Although Elisashib was the designated high priest, his colleagues would live and work in the same general area near Temple (source). I love they are working together to rebuild the area in which they will minister.
Remember, the responsibility of the high priest was to intercede for the people and help establish community. And according to scholars, when the exiles returned to Jerusalem, the other priests were no longer designated the teaching role (a charge given to the Levites as in Nehemiah 8:7). They were, however, in charge of ceremonial matters in Temple – things such as offering sacrifices & collecting tithes.
How does that sit with you? Does part of you sigh in relief thinking how others will take on the role of teaching as the People of God remember how to worship? Or do you feel like these ministers got jipped having to do menial tasks while others take over equipping the people? The way you answer likely depends on how He has made you, but it has me thinking. How are we working together? All of us here now in our one shot at this? These men lived all over the Jordan Valley (kikkar). They may or may not have been excited about their role in this renewed City of God. But they were throwing in.
Friends, what God is doing in our day matters. We have never seen, heard or imagined what He’s prepared. It’s bigger than all of us, but it includes us. We get to be swept up in the beautiful chaos of joining the work and letting Him lead the way. None of us will be perfectly prepared. Perhaps we’ve never held a trowel or offered a sacrifice. Maybe what He’s doing doesn’t even seem to directly affect us – after all, we’re from the surrounding region; this isn’t our home. But we get to love and serve and reconcile and resist and rebuild anyway. Because it’s the only way to be free.
We know He has made us to be part of a worldwide priesthood, set apart to declare the praises of Him Who brought us out of darkness and into His wonderful Light. Let’s declare.