Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Joy of Jerusalem

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My husband and I are reading Nehemiah right now. We started the habit of reading the Bible together each evening more than eight years ago. I can't remember how many times we've read through it, but it remains a treasured tradition which brings us closer to each other and to God.

A couple of nights ago, in Nehemiah 12, we read yet another long list of difficult-to-pronounce names. Then came verse 43: And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away. (emphasis mine)

That was the last line of what we read that night:

And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.

The "joy of Jerusalem" at the time of Nehemiah was the rebuilding of the wall. But today, there is a "joy of Jerusalem" that is far, far better: Jesus.

Jesus, Emmanuel, Our Savior and Lord!

That is the joy of Jerusalem for us. The joy that overflows from knowing that we are redeemed by Jesus Christ, that we have a place before our Heavenly Father, righteous before Him by the cleansing of Jesus' sacrifice. Talk about Joy!

And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.


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