Then they said, “Let us start building!” So they committed themselves to the common good. Nehemiah 2:18
Throughout human history God calls humankind to work side by side in the building of a just, peaceful, and reverent world. God is both a builder and a uniter, and God’s purposes are fulfilled when we come together to labor for the common good. Like a parent’s pride and love swelling when the children are playing peacefully together, God’s love and pride swells when we live and work and play together in unity.
For fifty-two days the Jews of Jerusalem set aside their individual pursuits. For fifty-two days they set aside the work they would typically do to sustain their own families. For fifty-two days the Jews of Jerusalem worked for the good of the whole, instead of pursuing individual interests. Of all the many things those individual Jews must have done in their lives, what they are remembered for is how they came together to build a wall. It is a miracle they are remembered at all. Their names are listed and immortalized in this passage of the Bible for a moment when they labored side by side to accomplish a common purpose—and their efforts are remembered eternally by God. Coming together to build a wall for fifty-two days of their lives is their holy legacy.
How will you be remembered?
Lord, I spend most of my life working for my own good. The common good, the commonwealth, the welfare of others is not something I spend much time considering…As a result, I am likely living an entirely forgettable life. Help me to focus on the common good. I want to be remembered for the works I have done to Your glory. I want to be remembered by You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.