My colleague preached on Nehemiah 4:19-20 recently where Nehemiah is rallying the Israelites to build the wall of Jerusalem to restore order and honour for God’s people. However, they face opposition from enemies all around them. “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” Nehemiah recognizes the threat and puts a system in place so that the people could rally together at the sound of the trumpet to help where needed.
Pastor Jordan spoke on the necessity of a community like this. We all have moments where we feel like pressure is mounting and we need help. The question is, “Do we have a community where we can be authentic to blow the trumpet when we need help?” James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,” but we often don’t do this because we are used to putting up walls and wearing masks. We ask, “How are you?” and the expectation is to hear, “I’m fine.” We deflect opportunities to really cry out for help. We fear we would be judged and cast out if we really share what we’re going through.
Unfortunately, we have become really good at hiding, but God calls us to be real. The only way we could feel safe while being authentic is if grace abounds in our community. Where grace abounds, people feel free to express how we’re really doing. We can confess sins without fear of judgment. We can blow the trumpet and find a community of grace rallying to us in support, and within that community, “Our God will fight for us.”