It’s weird, isn’t it, to be talking about building walls when the common perception is that walls are bad. I mean, we’re Christians, right? We’re supposed to be building bridges not walls.
And when we start talking about picking up stones? We who are well-versed in Sunday School-ese immediately hear Jesus’ voice, “He who is without sin, pick up the first stone.” (John 8:7)
But in Nehemiah’s time, the wall mattered. It was necessary for protection and for stability. The wall in disrepair represented a nation disconnected with Jehovah. And God, as He always does, wanted the relationship rebuilt. So, they picked up the stones and began building right where they were.
We’re called to that same task. Jesus said it this way:
“Go therefore and make disciples …” (Matthew 28:19)
Paul phrased it like this:
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus … ” (Colossians 3:23)
We are the light in the darkness, the salt of the earth, the city on the hill. Those are not just catchy phrases, they are specific identifications, each connected to our one calling:
To build the wall, reconnecting the broken masses with the Resurrected Master.
This isn’t a call to preach or even share memory verses, it’s even more basic. When Jesus told the disciples they were to “Go therefore” He was literally saying, “As you go about your day, teach others about this Way you have found.”
We all know the best teaching is by example not by sermon.
Here are some ways to build the wall of reconnection:
- Speak to your neighbors. I love Jessica’s story of baking cookies for the senior adults that lived near them. Start by saying, “Hi!” and finding out their names. Be present in your neighborhood and learn what the needs exist around you.
- Support a local organization. It doesn’t really matter if it’s the humane society or crisis pregnancy center, find a cause or a ministry that your family can engage with and do it. Walk for Life or Bowl for St. Jude or clean doggie cages or knit scarves for nursing home residents … the what is not nearly as important as the why.
- Serve in your church. Seriously, I’m sure you expected this one from the resident pastor’s wife, but when you keep the nursery or welcome guests or teach a Sunday School class or join the choir, you are building the wall of community in your church.
- Seek obscure opportunities. We’ve made brownies for the fire station near us and we’ve taken Communion to nursing home residents and we’ve done all sorts of things in-between. There are countless ways you can invest in your community and be part of building a solid wall. Just be open to whatever situation presents itself and commit that as a family you will work and serve in your community as an act of obedience and worship to God.