Sunday, 21 September 2008

1 in 10

This morning I preached on the small, throw away line in Nehemiah 11v1. It's a verse about how Jerusalem was re-populated after Nehemiah had finished the walls. 1 in 10 of the population were 'chosen by lot' to move into Jerusalem.

These people already had stories of great faith, albeit a few years old, for they had returned from exile in Babylon. And yet God was calling numbers of them to go again into new faith adventures by starting over in Jerusalem, which would be a risky place to live.

Given God's big story of mankind's redemption, moving your family again a few miles down the road, makes perfect sense to us. But for them it must have felt like being cornered.

Kingdom life involves movement. Be that literally or metaphorical, physical or spiritual we are to be always on the move. When God calls us, by whatever means he chooses, we need to ask for the grace to 'pack our bags and head to the city'.

Many of us are 1 in 10 people - our 'big faith stories' are years old but now God is asking us to 'go again'. It may be pursuing new levels of holiness, it may be stepping up to new responsibilities, it may be joining us in Amsterdam. Whatever it is, Jesus is worth it.

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