Gabriel's Horn, Pastor Tim, February, 2016

posted Feb 1, 2016, 7:29 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Feb 1, 2016, 11:57 AM ]

Dear Friends and Members of Leola United Methodist Church,

Old Testament prophets were fearless: they were not afraid to speak the word of God.  Often they were charged to tell the people that God was not pleased with how they were living.  For some, it was a wake-up call.  They took the prophets’ words to heart.  There were others who took exception to what was said. 

I believe that we can still learn from the prophets.  One of the prophets was Nehemiah, who lived three thousand years ago.  The people had ignored God and everything that was right. God had allowed many Israelites to be taken captive as they were forced out of their homeland to live as slaves in Babylon. 

Even in that dire situation, though, God was at work devising a plan to save the people.  Nehemiah would obey God and allow God to use him.  

          Nehemiah was appointed as a servant to the king.  His job was to make sure that no one poisoned the king.  Nehemiah would sip any drink before it was served to the king.  If he did not get sick or die, the drink would be given to the king.  Daily Nehemiah put his life on the line; soon he earned the king’s trust. 

 One day Nehemiah’s brother visited him in Babylon and told him that Jerusalem laid in ruins.  The walls were knocked down, and the city gates burned.  Nehemiah prayed for mercy for the people. “When I heard these words,” the prophet said, “I sat down, and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”  (Neh. 1:4)  He prayed that Jerusalem would be able to rebuild both the walls and gate.  For that to happen, the king would have to let God’s people return home. 

 Because Nehemiah had earned the trust of the king, he was granted his request to return to Jerusalem.

 Upon his return to Jerusalem, Nehemiah addressed the people: “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned.  Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.”  (Neh. 2:17)  The prophet’s words became a rallying cry for the people. 

           Nehemiah was not afraid to remind the people of all that God had done. “I told them that the hand of God has been gracious upon me…” (Neh. 2:18) We may never know the impact our words have on another person.

 We, too, should continue to pray because we know that God never tires of hearing our prayers.  We must remain alert and watch for God’s answers. As we continue to pray for our church this year, may we remain open and alert for ways God might use us.


See you in church,

Your pastor,

Pastor Tim