Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Very Different Church Service

Our church recently finished a detailed study of the book of Matthew (a year and a half long) and we've starting a new study of Nehemiah. This week, instead of an introductory sermon, we simply read the whole book aloud, thirteen chapters.

This has precedent, incidentally -- in the book of Nehemiah itself:
So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
And what should be our response to a sermon on the Law?
For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.

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