And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. Nehemiah 8: 12 NRSV
Okay, this is how we should respond after the sermon!
First, we should go on our way. We have heard the message and now go out to live it.
Then we should go to eat and drink. Preferably with one another. Have a feast!
Next, we should send something back to take care of our religious leaders. In Nehemiah's day, you sent back part of your first fruits in order to support the Levites. That way, the Levites didn't have to work but could dedicate themselves fully to God.
Finally, they should do all this with joy and happiness because they were able to understand what was said in the message. There should be rejoicing when we understand the scriptures.
The people in the newly walled Jerusalem had heard the law and were helped to understand it with interpretation. It had been quite some time since they had had a sermon. They were asked not to grieve but to treat what they had heard and this day as holy.
Why don't you plan on responding in this way in worship?
God, thank you for your word and those who interpret it for us. Give us ears to hear and hearts that rejoice! In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims