Stronger Together

New season, new series!  Having concluded our spring/summer series on Joshua, it's time for us to lean into what it means for a scattered people to reunite and rebuild.

Because we're STRONGER TOGETHER.

This Fall, we're looking through the book of Nehemiah.  It's a story of how God provided for one person to lead many in the rebuilding of Jerusalem after their decades-long exile.  The book opens with terrible news -- the people have returned to their homeland but the city walls and gates are destroyed.  In that context, that means they are vulnerable, and deeply discouraged.  Nehemiah weeps for the destroyed city and its implications for the unity of the people with each other and with God.

Nehemiah is the "cupbearer to the king" of Persia.  That doesn't mean much to us today, but a good analogy would be the king's head of security.  To appear sad in the king's presence would have been a great offense.  But it's a testament to Nehemiah's reputation that the king asks him what's wrong.  And when he tells him, Nehemiah even makes three audacious requests for support in leaving the king's side to rebuild the city walls!  

Miraculously, the king agrees.  Nehemiah knows that it's because God has gone before him and commissioned him for this work.  

So Nehemiah leaves his duty to this earthly king and takes a new job with his heavenly King.  

What does this exchange of crowns look like for you today?  Have you been serving any other crown before God?  For many of us, 2020 will be the year of "corona" as in the virus.  We have "served" its needs since March and many of us are growing tired of it.  Fittingly, the word "corona" comes from the Latin for "crown."  Now, this has nothing to do with wearing masks!  Wearing masks and social distancing is the right way to show love and care for our neighbors.  The question we're asking this week is: In what ways have you let the Covid-19 phenomenon rule in your hearts?  Where have you let the associated politics take over your mind?  What other "crowns" might you have been serving these past several months?

Will you, like Nehemiah, exchange those crowns to serve the one true Crown, the King of heaven and Earth?  What will that look like for you?  

Remember, we'd love to hear your stories of how God is working in your life.  Share your story at
https://uppc.org/share-your-story


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