All Israel Reestablishes God’s Teachings

Text: Nehemiah 7:73b-8:18

Reflection and Question: This description of what the Jews do after returning from exile marks the momentous shift from a religion based upon cult sacrifice to one based upon interpretation of Scripture and rituals, like the Festival of the Booths (Sukkot), which they have learned can be practiced anywhere. Last month in my neighborhood these huts appeared for a week on many lawns to mark this holiday in Jewish homes. While the exiled are glad to be back in Jerusalem, they have learned that God can be worshipped fully anywhere. Why is disengaging worship from a specific place so important?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, we give You thanks that You brought understanding to Your people through the reading and interpretation of Your law. Inspire us, as well, to read and study the Word, that we, too, may know great rejoicing. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).