Summary: Any careful study of life reveals moments when one is faced with a decision either to do nothing or to do something. History revolves around ordinary people doing extra ordinary things because the stars were aligned in the proper way. Many of you know peo
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Text: Nehemiah 1: 1 - 11
Any careful study of life reveals moments when you are faced with a decision either to do nothing or to do something. History revolves around ordinary people doing extra ordinary things because the stars were aligned in the proper way. Many of you know people or either have your own personal stories of people who when faced with forks in life’s road made a decision to do something rather than doing nothing.
How easy would it have been for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to have been an ordinary middle class preacher in an ordinary middle class church and lived an ordinary middle class life? But he decided when attending a meeting of local preachers after Rosa Parks had been arrested and responded to the challenged that Negro preachers must be scared, cried out, I am not afraid of anyone or anything and did something and became the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association.
Too often people in prominent positions, people with influence, or people with status failed to do anything to uplift others because they are afraid to compromise their position, status, or influence, and therefore, they are content to watch other people suffer in despair and never lift a finger to help.
I applaud persons who sacrifice personal wealth, personal position, and personal influence on behalf of those who need advocates or adjudicators.
God smiles on those who are willing to sacrifice all for the cause of Jesus Christ.
If we could affect every move from people who talk about everything to people who would do something, what a world this would be.
Senator Barrack Obama finds his total career and integrity under attack simply because he felt that the times demanded that he do something for America.
I’m here to tell you that it’s easy to do nothing.
No change is ever made by people who do nothing.
No conditions are every improved by people who do nothing.
No circumstances are ever altered by people who do nothing.
One of the tragic realties is that there are people who claim they are looking for jobs by standing on the same corner day after day and then say there is no work.
They don’t do anything and therefore, they get nothing.
I’m here to tell you that there is power in doing something.
I don’t mean that there is power in doing anything. In fact, if you just do anything, you may find that you are in a worse situation than if you had done nothing.
Come here George Bush, I said I wanted Osama Bin Laden dead or alive; but I did anything but that and as a result there are over 4,000 American Soldiers dead, almost a trillion dollar wasted, wrecked the American economy, over 40,000 civilians casualties because I just did anything, instead of doing something.
Christians there are more people in their homes on Sunday morning than in the many churches that populate Upton because Christians are doing anything; instead of doing something.
This Nehemiah text focus our church other the next few Sundays and reminds us we are great people who come from a great legacy that has done great things because we understood we are commanded to do something that pleases God.
I’m challenged by the life story of Nehemiah because it illustrates to us what God can do when one person is convicted to do something.
I want you to know that the eyes of God are searching the hearts, minds and spirits of Unionites to see if there will arise among us one who is willing.
to do something,
to give something,
to share something,
to restore something,
to repair something,
to rebuild something,
to renew something,
to be something
that would make God proud and would cause the people of this community to say, within these walls are people who follow God and are attuned to his voice.
The text begins in the same timeframe we are in during the September/ December period of the year with Nehemiah’s brother and friends coming to him to tell him about his people in exile and the place that they most revered – their sacred space - Jerusalem.
The people are in great trouble. They are distressed. They are disgraced. They are disheartened. They have been defeated. Jerusalem, our sacred space, the place built by our ancestors is broken down; its gates have been burned with fire.
Our sacred space when it rains the water pours down the walls like a fountain. The carpet is discolored and frayed. Lighting has become inadequate. Invaluable stained glass windows are exposed to the winter elements, such that the very casings that hold the glass are crumbling. Our flower pots on at our gates have become ashtrays for cigarette butts.