by John de Borde
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given by Deb Tovey
(click the play button above to listen)
Nehemiah 8:1-18 (ESV)
Ezra Reads the Law
1 And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. 8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
This Day Is Holy
9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
Feast of Booths Celebrated
13 On the second day the heads of fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law. 14 And they found it written in the Law that the Lord had commanded by Moses that the people of Israel should dwell in booths[c] during the feast of the seventh month, 15 and that they should proclaim it and publish it in all their towns and in Jerusalem, “Go out to the hills and bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.” 16 So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. 17 And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing. 18 And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. They kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the rule.
“Back to the Bible”
by Suzy Kirkham
The sixth in our series looking at Nehemiah.
In chapter 8, the walls have been completed and we now look at how God uses Nehemiah’s efforts and focus to build up the actual people who live in those walls.
Led by Jean Balcombe
(click the play button above to listen)
In Nehemiah chapter 8 we’re told that when Ezra the scribe read from the Book of the Law, ‘the ears of the people were attentive… And when Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people they stood… And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands.’
As we reflect on the significance and importance of the Bible and how we treat the word of God, is it with respect and a desire to hear?
Let us pray.
We give thanks and pray for God’s Word revealed to us in the Bible and its power to change lives. Let us celebrate as we delight in the treasure of it
We give thanks and pray for those who have diligently translated the Bible into many hundreds of languages and to make it available in people’s heart language
We give thanks and pray for those who preach and teach, that they will hold fast to biblical truth and bring understanding and encouragement
We give thanks and pray for all those who read and hear the Scriptures that they would listen well and for Bible study and home groups so that through fellowship and sharing insights together all may be encouraged and grow in their faith
We give thanks and pray for students in ordination training at theological colleges and for their tutors and lecturers as they are guided through their studies
Churches Together in Clevedon are praying for us here at Christchurch this week. Let us pause to reflect on our own personal journey of faith and and how we have been shaped by God’s Word to us in the Bible. Let us give thanks for our church family who encourage and challenge us in that walk and help us to be attentive to God’s voice through their words and actions.
Let us acknowledge when we have closed our ears to His voice and have drifted into dangerous territory. Holy Spirit, lead us back into truth.
We give thanks and pray for Clive, Russell and Suzy and all in our church family as we sustain each other. As we learn and grow in faith together and reach beyond the church walls and out of ourselves to our community, may we be a people whose roots dig deeply into the nourishment of your Word and may our lives flourish and be seeds of love for others.
In the name of Jesus the Word made flesh. Amen
We share in saying the Lords Prayer together.
The Lords Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.
If you would like someone to pray for you, or with you for something important to you, the contact for the Prayer Sheet and Prayer Chain is Jean Balcombe: firstname.lastname@example.org 07810 027820
Help and Support
The contact for the Prayer Sheet and Prayer Chain is Jean Balcombe: email@example.com 07810 027820
Make use of those in your home group, and if you would like to be part of one contact Carolyn Waite our home group coordinator through the church office.
The Church is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9.30am-2.30pm, but we do recommend calling first on 01275 871483. Don’t hesitate to contact us through the website or if urgent though the contact details on the newsletter.